Origins of the PDA

For more than a decade PDA personnel have been involved in defending the reputation of individual pharmacists. During these years, developments occurred which have defined the role of the PDA.

Important developments relevant to the origins of The PDA...


  • Specialist insurance scheme developed for locum pharmacists by the Pharmacy Insurance Agency (PIA)
  • Handled the first civil claim on behalf of a member
  • Specialist insurance scheme developed for all members of the Joint Boots Pharmacists' Association


  • Specialist insurance scheme developed for hospital pharmacists
  • First PIA risk management newsletter published


  • Specialist insurance scheme developed for community pharmacy employees
  • PIA personnel invited to deliver the very first risk management lecture


  • Specialist insurance scheme developed for part-time pharmacists


  • Pharmacists begin to undertake new roles in greater numbers; a specialist insurance scheme is developed for Primary Care Pharmacists.
  • First success on behalf of a member at an industrial tribunal.


  • PIA personnel are invited to become a member of the first of many advisory boards relating to Risk Management, training and education issues.


  • Specialist insurance scheme developed for Qualified Persons and Business consultants, providing not only medical malpractice cover but also commercial risks protection for these more specialised groups of pharmacists who are working in the Pharmaceutical Industry
  • Peppermint Water Case occurs: this landmark development indicates that pharmacists and support staff (Pre-reg's) are now being held liable in the event of an error. Pharmacist and Pre-reg face manslaughter charges.


  • In light of the Peppermint Water case, a specialist insurance scheme is developed for all Pre-reg's and is provided free of charge to all Pre-reg members of the British Pharmaceutical Students' Association.
  • PIA Foundation is established – this provides for 1% of all insurance premiums paid to PIA by pharmacists to go back into the profession through the funding of pro-pharmacy initiatives, e.g. sponsoring conferences and supporting voluntary initiatives in pharmacy.


  • The fifteenth risk management newsletter is published and is distributed to all PIA members


  • Record numbers of pharmacists join the PIA scheme and membership grows to more than 9,000, making it the largest Defence Association scheme in pharmacy.


  • Many locums seek legal advice as a large pharmacy employer attempts to impose a pay cut of up to 30% in some cases.
  • Record numbers of claims now being handled on behalf of individual pharmacists.
  • First pharmacy environment questionnaires are sent to employers on behalf of individual pharmacists who have been involved in dispensing errors. These questionnaires are designed to help establish the extent to which the environmental conditions in the pharmacy that are controlled by employers have contributed to the error. Employer's insurer concedes 50% of the compensation payment made to the claimant.
  • Pharmacist investigated by the RPSGB for making a series of errors pleads in mitigation that the pharmacy environment contributed to the error. As a result the pharmacist is reprimanded but the Superintendant is referred to the Statutory Committee.
  • PIA Foundation donates a grant of £100,000 to establish a range of new proactive, added-value services. The Pharmacists' Defence Association is born.
Over 22,000 pharmacists have already joined the PDA, Have you?
Our members save £5 when they renew online, Have you?
Thousands of pre-regs have claimed FREE membership, Have you?
Newly qualified pharmacists can join FREE for 3 months, Have you? Pharmacy undergraduates can join FREE! Have you?

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