Royal Pharmaceutical Society

Coordinates: 51°29′40″N 0°07′09″W / 51.4945°N 0.1192°W / 51.4945; -0.1192
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain
AbbreviationRPharmS, RPS
PredecessorRoyal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain
EstablishedSeptember 2010; 13 years ago (2010-09)
HeadquartersEast Smithfield
London, E1
Claire Anderson[1]
Chief executive
Paul Bennett

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPharmS or RPS) is the body responsible for the leadership and support of the pharmacy profession (pharmacists) within England, Scotland, and Wales. It was created along with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) in September 2010 when the previous Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain was split so that representative and regulatory functions of the pharmacy profession could be separated. Membership in the society is not a prerequisite for engaging in practice as a pharmacist within the United Kingdom. Its predecessor the Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain was founded on 15 April 1841.[2]


The Royal Pharmaceutical Society was founded on 15 April 1841 as the Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, and headquartered at 17 Bloomsbury Square, London. Among its founding members were Jacob Bell and William Allen. The Northern British (Scottish) branch began the same year with nine founders including William Flockhart and John Duncan.[3] From 1843, it had a royal charter that identified its chief objectives as the advancement of chemistry and pharmacy, the promotion of a system of education for its practitioners, and the legal protection of its members.[4]


Headquarters of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society at East Smithfield, London E1

The headquarters of the society are on East Smithfield Road, located near Whitechapel and St Katharine Docks in London, UK.[5] From 1976 until 2015 the Royal Pharmaceutical Society's headquarters was in Lambeth on Lambeth High Street, London, UK.[6]


The Society currently offers five categories of membership:

  • Member: Full membership is available to anyone who has ever been registered as a pharmacist in Great Britain, whether or not currently registered with the GPhC.
  • Fellow: Fellowship may be conferred by the Society’s Panel of Fellows on pharmacists who have been members of the Society for at least 12 years and who have been deemed to have made outstanding original contributions.
  • Associate: Associate membership is open to two categories of person: (a) those registered elsewhere in the world who have never been registered in Britain; (b) those who have a recognized degree in pharmacy but have not yet registered as a pharmacist in Britain, either because they are still undergoing their preregistration trainings or because they are not working in a field of practice that requires registration with the GPhC.
  • Student: Student membership is available to anyone studying for a degree in pharmacy at any institute recognized by the Society (in Britain or overseas).
  • Pharmaceutical Scientist: Pharmacist scientist membership is available to anyone with a degree (or equivalent) in a subject related to the pharmacy who has worked for at least two years in a recognized area of the pharmaceutical sciences.

President of the society[edit]


The Society operates two divisions of RPS Publishing:

Royal Pharmaceutical Society Museum[edit]

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain had a museum collection since 1842, which continues to be managed by the RPS at its offices in East Smithfield. The exhibits cover all aspects of British pharmacy history, and include:

  • Traditional dispensing equipment
  • Drug storage containers
  • Fine "Lambeth delftware" dating from the 17th and 18th centuries
  • Proprietary (brand name) medicines dating from the 18th century to the present day
  • Bronze mortars
  • Medical caricatures
  • A photo archive

Since 2002, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society has concentrated on developing the collection of historical and contemporary proprietary medicines.

The museum is open to visitors and admission is free.[10] Guided tours are available if booked in advance. In 1983 the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain donated over 10,000 historic specimens of materia medica, including crude drugs, herbarium sheets, and slides to the Kew Gardens. This material is now housed in the Economic Botany Collection (EBC) at Kew.[11] The museum is a member of the London Museums of Health & Medicine.[12]

Prizes and awards[edit]

The RPS has six academic and professional awards for pharmacists at different stages of their career.[13] These are:

  • The Hanbury Medal
  • The Harrison Medal
  • Outstanding Pharmacy Early-career Researcher Award
  • RPS Charter Medals[14]
  • RPS Fellowship and Honorary Fellowship
  • The Daniel Thomas Award[15][16]

National Pharmacy Boards[edit]

The three boards provide professional leadership and advocacy support for pharmacy practice in England, Scotland and Wales respectively. They are currently Chaired by Thorrun Govind, Andrew Carruthers and Cheryl Way respectively. The members of the boards are elected by the members of the society,[17] but the members of the assembly are not. The members of the assembly are elected by members of the boards. The assembly is senior to the boards in terms of policy making.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "RPS elects Claire Anderson as its new president". Chemist and Druggist. 13 July 2021. Retrieved 13 July 2021.
  2. ^ "About us:history of the society". Royal Pharmaceutical Society. Retrieved 2 August 2014.
  3. ^ Worling, P.M. (1998). "Duncan and Flockhart: the Story of Two Men and a Pharmacy". Pharmaceutical Historian. 28 (2): 28–33. PMID 11620310 – via PMID.
  4. ^ Kurzer, Frederick (1 October 2007). "George S V Wills and the Westminster College of Chemistry and Pharmacy: A Chapter in Pharmaceutical Education in Great Britain". Medical History. 51 (4): 477–506. doi:10.1017/s0025727300001770. PMC 2002594. PMID 17932557.
  5. ^ "Contact Information". Royal Pharmaceutical Society. Retrieved 25 November 2016.
  6. ^ "Pharmacy History and Lambeth". Royal Pharmaceutical Society. Retrieved 25 November 2016.
  7. ^ "Claire Anderson". Retrieved 18 July 2021.
  8. ^ "Sandra Gidley". Archived from the original on 9 August 2019. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  9. ^ a b c Robinson, Julia; Burns, Corrinne. "Ash Soni to step down as RPS president". The Pharmaceutical Journal.
  10. ^ "Royal Pharmaceutical Society - Museum". Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  11. ^ Economic Botany Collection
  12. ^ "Medical Museums". Retrieved 26 August 2016.
  13. ^ "RPS Honours and Fellowship". RPS. Retrieved 5 May 2023.
  14. ^ "Jonathan Burton to receive RPS Charter Award for promoting the interests of pharmacy". Pharmacy Business. Retrieved 5 May 2023.
  15. ^ "RPS award launched to honour dedication of pharmacists who have died". The Pharmacist. Retrieved 5 May 2023.
  16. ^ "RPS launches new award to honour pharmacists who died in active service". Chemist & Druggist. Retrieved 5 May 2023.
  17. ^ "Results of the National Pharmacy Board Elections 2017". Royal Pharmaceutical Society. Retrieved 14 July 2017.

External links[edit]

51°29′40″N 0°07′09″W / 51.4945°N 0.1192°W / 51.4945; -0.1192