Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine

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The Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine is a Faculty of the three Royal Colleges of Physicians of the United Kingdom (the Royal College of Physicians London, the Royal College of Physicians Edinburgh and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow). It is a UK-based professional membership organisation with over 1,500 members; physicians with a professional interest in the speciality of pharmaceutical medicine,[1] the science of discovering, developing and testing new drugs, their regulation, and monitoring them for safety both during development and when they are prescribed.[2][3] The Faculty is a registered charity and ultimately exists to bring about an improvement in health in patients and the general population.

The current President of the Faculty is Professor Alan Boyd.


In 1976 the three Royal Colleges of Physicians of the UK agreed to grant the first Diploma in Pharmaceutical Medicine to be gained by examination, and a two-year training course for pharmaceutical physicians was established under the guidance of the Joint Advisory Committee on pharmaceutical medicine, with representation from AMAPI (now the British Association of Pharmaceutical Physicians (BrAPP)), and the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI).

The rapid evolution of pharmaceutical specialists, and the developing interface between pharmaceutical medicine and other medical disciplines, led to the idea of creating a Faculty within the three Royal Colleges of Physicians, so that criteria could be established that would result in specialist accreditation. Thus, the Faculty was formed on 26 October 1989, led by its first President, Professor Sir Abraham Goldberg.

In April 2002, pharmaceutical medicine was officially recognised as a medical specialty in the UK and the GMC guidelines on Pharmaceutical Medicine stipulate the professional expectations of pharmaceutical physicians.[4] In 2009 the Faculty formed part of the working party that developed the landmark RCP report Innovating for Health: Patients, Physicians, the Pharmaceutical Industry and the NHS.[5]


1989 to 2011 - St. Andrews Place, Regent's Park, London (estate of the RCP London)

2011 to 2015 - Furnival Street, Holborn, London

2015 to ... - Angel Gate, Islington, London


The 1,500 members of the Faculty are registered medical practitioners. There are four main categories of membership: Affiliate, Associate (Training), Member (MFPM) and Fellow (FFPM). Approximately 450 members (of all grades) are based outside the UK (approximately 30% of the total).

Most members of the Faculty are involved in the coordination of clinical trials of new medicines, vaccines and medical devices. The majority are employed by pharmaceutical companies, but many act as independent medical consultants or work for regulatory agencies such as the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) or European Medicines Agency (EMA).


The Faculty carries out a number of activities to maintain the standards of practice of pharmaceutical physicians so that their work is always in the best interests of the public and patients.[6]

The Faculty supervises the Pharmaceutical Medicine Specialty Training (PMST)[7] as well as running the Diploma in Pharmaceutical Medicine for pharmaceutical physicians[8] and the Diploma and Certificate in Human Pharmacology (DHP and CHP) examinations which have been designed to provide accreditation to all professionals with an interest in exploratory drug development.[9] The Faculty coordinates the continuing professional development (CPD) of its members and is also, as a member of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, working with the GMC on the framework for revalidation for pharmaceutical physicians.


  1. ^ Pharmaceutical Medicine: History, Global Status, Evolution and Development. P. Stonier, H. Silva, H. Lahon. Int J Pharm Med 21 (4), 253-262, 2007.
  2. ^ Clinical pharmacology and the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine" by P D Stonier and N S Baber, British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. 2000 June; 49(6): 523–524. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2125.2000.00202.x. NIH link
  3. ^ J P Griffin , The textbook of pharmaceutical medicine Wiley-Blackwell, 2009.
  4. ^ GMC guidelines on Pharmaceutical Medicine
  5. ^ RCP London. Report of a Working Party. Innovating for Health: Patients, Physicians, the Pharmaceutical Industry and the NHS. February 2009
  6. ^ Ethics and pharmaceutical medicine – the full report of the Ethical Issues Committee of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine of the Royal Colleges of Physicians of the UK. R. Bickerstaffe, P. Brock, J-M Husson, I. Rubin, K. Bragman, K. Paterson, A. Sommerville. Int J Clin Pract 60 (2), 242–252, 2006.
  7. ^ Pharmaceutical Medicine Specialty Training
  8. ^ Diploma in Pharmaceutical Medicine
  9. ^ Diploma and Certificate in Human Pharmacology

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