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The PDA's insurance-backed services provide the backbone in the defence of your reputation.


The insurance available to PDA members is placed with reputable underwriters and these arrangements are administered by the Pharmacy Insurance Agency (PIA) Ltd who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Register No 307063).

Insurance is essential to the service provided by the PDA, for several reasons:

Financial capability

Insurance provides substantial financial capability to enable PDA members to receive comprehensive legal defence services and, if needs be, it is also in place to settle compensation claims made against members right up to £10 million pounds per member (when this limit has been selected by a member), per incident. This is the fundamental reason why insurance is so important.

However, today, around 85% of the defence episodes received by PDA members are not in anyway connected or funded by Insurance. They are provided as membership benefits and funded by membership subscriptions. The PDA is a not for profit organisation.

Fundamental principles

If you are an employed or locum pharmacist it is essential that you understand that it is not in your best interests to rely upon indemnity insurance cover provided by your employer or by your employer’s representative organisation. When the most serious of problems occur, you must be confident that your insurer is devoted exclusively to your interests and is only focused upon providing you with the best possible defence strategy. This must never be compromised by concerns over your employer’s interests or reputation. Sometimes, it may even be necessary to defend a pharmacist by placing the blame where it really lies; upon the doorstep of the employer – such as when chronic staffing shortages and untrained staff have led to an error. The PDA is a defence association that has no links to any employer or to any employer’s representative organisation, neither does the PDA receive any membership fees on behalf of employee’s from an employer. It can only act in the interests of the individual pharmacist and does not need to concern itself with the protection of the reputation of the employer or the employer’s brand. The insurance schemes which are backed by reputable underwriters and which are arranged by The Pharmacy Insurance Agency use a three-pronged approach to provide total protection:

  •  Legal Defence Costs Insurance
  •  Professional Indemnity (PI) Insurance
  •  Public Liability Insurance

Complaints – Insurance and non-insurance related

If you have any questions or complaints regarding your insurance policy then these would be handled by the Pharmacy Insurance Agency as these are handled in accordance with insurance regulatory requirements; please click here for information about the complaints procedure. If you have any complaints regarding issues that are not connected to insurance then click here to find out about the PDA’s complaints procedures.

Why reliance on employer’s cover is not recommended

The PDA was founded following the peppermint water case, which involved the death of a baby caused by a dispensing error. A pharmacist and a pre-reg trainee did not have their own insurance, relied upon their employers’ cover for their defence and ultimately were criminally prosecuted. Subsequently, the PDA wanted to ensure that pharmacists never again needed to rely upon their employer’s defence cover in the event of patient harm. The learning from this tragic episode perhaps demonstrates best the weaknesses of the Contingent Medical Malpractice (CMM) approach to indemnity.





The Pharmacists' Defence Association is a company limited by guarantee. Registered in England; Company No 4746656.

The Pharmacists' Defence Association is an appointed representative in respect of insurance mediation activities only of
The Pharmacy Insurance Agency Limited which is registered in England and Wales under company number 2591975
and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Register No 307063)

The PDA Union is recognised by the Certification Officer as an independent trade union.

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