Prescription for waste

November 8, 2012

Regarding "Spare the special pleading" (Letters, 1 November). It is good to know that Kevin Smith's limited knowledge of pharmacy education has not inhibited him from expressing his strident views. To help him understand the issues, we would refer him to the following documents (all available online): the All-Party Pharmacy Group report The Future of Pharmacy (June 2007); the Department of Health White Paper Pharmacy in England: Building on Strengths - Delivering the Future (April 2008); and the DoH discussion paper Modernising Pharmacy Careers Programme: Review of Pharmacist Undergraduate Education and Pre-registration Training and Proposals for Reform (April 2011). Here he will find details of pharmacists' current and future roles and the educational needs required to achieve them. Smith might be surprised to learn that matters have moved beyond "the provision of medicines that have already been packaged".

He may also wish to pop down to his local pharmacy to find out what it does now, as indeed might Laurie Taylor! ("Keep on taking the pills", The Poppletonian, 1 November).

For further information, Smith may wish to consult Future Pharmacists: Standards for the Initial Education and Training of Pharmacists, a General Pharmaceutical Council report published in May 2011. It clearly indicates that the primary role and central thrust of the pharmacy degree is the education of pharmacists, which requires the achievement of a large set of professional competencies, along with a judgement on students' "fitness to practise".

Once he has read all these, we are sure he will agree that pharmacy education is more akin to that of other healthcare professions than general science degrees. The problem we highlight is that unlike other healthcare professions, there is no mechanism to manage supply and demand in the educational process for pharmacists. This may leave students stranded and unable to complete their education, which is not only wasteful of resources and people but also unkind.

John Smart, Chair, Pharmacy Schools Council

Vikesh Kakad, President, British Pharmacy Students' Association

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Most Commented

A group of flamingos and a Marabou stork

A right-wing philosopher in Texas tells John Gill how a minority of students can shut down debates and intimidate lecturers – and why he backs Trump

men in office with feet on desk. Vintage

Three-quarters of respondents are dissatisfied with the people running their institutions

A face made of numbers looks over a university campus

From personalising tuition to performance management, the use of data is increasingly driving how institutions operate

students use laptops

Researchers say students who use computers score half a grade lower than those who write notes

Canal houses, Amsterdam, Netherlands

All three of England’s for-profit universities owned in Netherlands