Royal Pharmaceutical Society

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Royal Pharmaceutical Society
Abbreviation RPharmS, RPS
Predecessor Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain
Established September 2010; 6 years ago (2010-09)
Headquarters East Smithfield
London, E1
Martin Astbury FRPharmS
Chief executive
Helen Gordon

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPharmS or RPS) is the body responsible for the leadership and support of the pharmacy profession 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. Although membership of the Society is not a prerequisite for engaging in practice as a pharmacist within the United Kingdom, most practising pharmacists opt to join the Society because of the benefits offered by membership. Its predecessor the Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain was founded on 15 April 1841.[1]


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.[2] From 1976 until 2015 the Royal Pharmaceutical Society's former headquarters was in Lambeth on Lambeth High Street.[3]


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 to the advancement of pharmaceutical knowledge or to have attained distinction in the science, practice, profession or history of pharmacy.
  • 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 recognised degree in pharmacy but have not yet registered as a pharmacist in Britain, either because they are still undergoing their preregistration training 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 recognised 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 pharmacy who has worked for at least two years in a recognised area of the pharmaceutical sciences.


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 today at its offices in Lambeth. 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 Society has concentrated on developing the collection of historical and contemporary proprietary medicines.

The ground floor part of the museum in the RPS reception area is open during normal working hours, but the main parts may only be visited by appointment. 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 Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. This material is now housed in the Economic Botany Collection (EBC) at Kew.[4] The museum is a member of the London Museums of Health & Medicine.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "About us:history of the society". Royal Pharmaceutical Society. Retrieved 2 August 2014. 
  2. ^ "Contact Information". Royal Pharmaceutical Society. Retrieved 25 November 2016. 
  3. ^ "Pharmacy History and Lambeth". Royal Pharmaceutical Society. Retrieved 25 November 2016. 
  4. ^ Economic Botany Collection
  5. ^ "Medical Museums". Retrieved 26 August 2016. 

External links[edit]

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