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Home  »   Latest News   »   PDA joins International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP)

PDA joins International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP)

The Pharmacists’ Defence Association is now a member of FIP.

Fri 23rd September 2022 The PDA

On Thursday 22 September, the Council of the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) voted to welcome the PDA as a full member of the global federation of organisations that brings together and advances pharmacy.

The FIP Congress in Seville was attended by nearly 5,000 pharmacists from around the world and PDA Chairman, Mark Koziol was invited to deliver an address. He talked about the importance of pharmacy readying itself to support global humanitarian crises wherever they may occur. He was therefore present when the FIP Council voted upon the PDA’s membership.

Mark said, Being admitted to FIP with such a decisive level of support from its Council means that the PDA can ensure that UK pharmacists can enjoy a clear and powerful voice representing their collective professional interests at global level, which of late they could not. Bringing one of the largest pharmacy membership organisations in the world to FIP also gives the PDA significant influence in being able to inform the policies of the World Health Organisation. This means that the PDA can do even more for members by helping to make pharmacy practice more professionally fulfilling for them.”

The International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) is the global pharmacy body representing over four million pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists. Based in The Hague, Netherlands, it works to meet the world’s health care needs. FIP is a non-governmental organisation that since 1948 has been officially recognised as the global voice of pharmacy by the World Health Organisation.

Below are some FAQs relating to PDA’s membership of FIP.

What is FIP?

The International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) is the global body representing pharmacy, pharmaceutical sciences, and pharmaceutical education. Through around 150 national organisations, academic institutional members, and individual members, FIP represent over four million pharmacists, pharmaceutical scientists, and pharmaceutical educators around the world.

Founded in 1912, FIP is a non-governmental organisation with its head office in the Netherlands. Through partnerships and extensive pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences networks, FIP works to support the development of the pharmacy profession, through practice and emerging scientific innovations, and through developing the pharmacy workforce in order to meet the world’s health care needs and expectations.

FIP advances pharmacy worldwide.

To read more, click here.

Why has the PDA joined FIP?

The PDA is a national organisation representing pharmacists in the UK. It is the largest pharmacist membership body and the only independent trade union exclusively for pharmacists in the UK.

The PDA constantly seeks ways to provide even better support for members; membership of FIP will give the PDA much more influence and will result in better outcomes for pharmacists.

Why has the PDA joined at this time?

During the roll out of the successful ‘Medicines to Ukraine’ campaign, in which the PDA plays a leading role, many members asked whether the PDA could also consider how best to support humanitarian crises in other parts of the world.

To pursue this objective, the PDA approached FIP, as a global pharmacy leadership organisation, to see what could be done. Timing was important, as it transpired that FIP was in the process of reorganising itself into six regions of the world. This would undoubtedly enable FIP to become much more responsive regionally and be able to rely on local expertise – a key lesson learned in the ‘Medicines to Ukraine’ campaign. FIP appreciated the momentum being built by the successful ‘Medicines to Ukraine’ campaign in Europe and agreed to commit to developing this important humanitarian dimension to try and assist with crises and disasters more generally. It was evident that if the PDA joined FIP, it could actively participate in a programme which would deliver what many of the PDA’s members had requested.

To that end, PDA Chairman Mark Koziol, in his capacity as General Secretary of EPhEU, was invited to raise this new and important humanitarian dimension at one of the main conference sessions. This additionally meant that whilst at the world congress, the PDA was able to identify various like-minded FIP member organisations from around the world with which to pursue this important work.

In addition to the above, like many in the profession, the PDA was disappointed to discover just recently that the Royal Pharmaceutical Society had withdrawn from FIP membership nearly two years ago. This meant that UK pharmacists would have been left with no UK pharmacist organisational representation at global level within this important organisation.

Joining FIP was a way to address both of these concerns.

Why not just look at the UK?

Being a pharmacist is being part of a global profession and working internationally exposes us to a greater variety of experience, perspectives, and ideas. Interacting with others from different backgrounds helps everyone learn and progress.

There are many excellent models of pharmacy practice out there in the wider world that could be adopted in the UK which would make life for pharmacists more professionally fulfilling and services for patients more beneficial and comprehensive.

The alternative, which is a UK only focus, is that this enables the UK government to dominate the UK pharmacy practice agenda with its policies. Sometimes, these policies are good ones, but at other times they are disadvantageous to both pharmacists and patients. Examples may include the idea of remote supervision and cuts to the global sum in England and when this happens, they need to be challenged. A more global perspective will inevitably assist in this task.

The PDA has learned first-hand the benefits of international collaboration through its membership of Employed Pharmacists of Europe (EPhEU) federation. This led directly to the launch of the ‘Medicines to Ukraine’ initiative, which was presented at the FIP congress in Seville.

The PDA is also part of the global trade union movement and, through its national affiliations, feeds ideas into the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC). The ITUC represents 207 million workers through its 331 affiliated organisations within 163 countries and territories and is the global voice for trade union members.

How much will this cost?

These days, many meetings are held virtually, but even if travel to attend meetings becomes necessary, PDA delegates would never travel business or first class.

FIP membership will cost the PDA around 70 pence per member. This is the cost of the widening participation in change and access to experiences, collaborating with some of the most innovative pharmacy organisations in the world, and learning from and contributing to research and development on a global scale as well as the availability of resources that membership brings. The PDA will work hard with the FIP organisation and use the resources it provides extensively for the benefit of PDA members and UK pharmacy generally. Importantly, it also means that the voice of 35,000+ PDA members in the UK can be heard in the international discussions that take place.

Does this mean the PDA is not independent?

The PDA remains an independent organisation focussed on pharmacists in the UK, but, as a member of FIP, will be part of the global federation. This includes having a significant say on FIP’s governance and decision making where the PDA, because of its relatively large size (35,000+ members), will carry more votes than other smaller membership organisations.

This is the same sort of relationship the PDA already has with the other federations of which it is part: EPhEU, GFTU, ICTU and the STUC.

What other UK organisations are members of FIP?

The Academy of Pharmaceutical Sciences is a full member of FIP.

Six universities from England and Scotland have FIP Academic Institution category membership.

The full list of FIP members is available here.


Learn more

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Membership is FREE to pharmacy students, trainee pharmacists, and for the first three months of being newly qualified.


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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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