The Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine: advancing an international specialty

15th June 2023 by Felix Jackson

It's been a pleasure being an affiliate member of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine (FPM) for many years, and having the opportunity to work with them on some of their key working groups. And, it's therefore an even greater pleasure to be nominated and accepted for Membership by Distinction. So, a huge thanks to Karen Mullen and Neil Snowise for their kind words that persuaded the committee to accept me!

Amongst other activities, I have supported the FPM's Social Media Working Group, Clinicians Working Group and I'm currently on the Global Forum. These groups gave me the opportunity to work with many individuals who also support the FPM's work, including Karen and Neil, and understand the FPM's work in much greater depth. I have seen how essential it is for the FPM to continue to advance the science and practice of pharmaceutical medicine to benefit people around the world. 

Today, I feel that the work of the FPM is even more relevant in this increasingly complex and divided world. I believe that the FPM is one of the few truly international professional membership bodies. The FPM doesn't just work internationally, it has an international membership. I have seen how Pharmaceutical Medicine, unlike other medical specialties, is not local to the UK. Our specialty supports medicine development across the globe with laws, standards and practices that are recognised in all countries of the world. And, the FPM's international membership and Global Forum are clear examples of how the FPM is supporting pharmaceutical physicians with their work internationally. The FPM truly is a world leading organisation for pharmaceutical medics.

Our work as pharmaceutical medics is vital to support medicine development from discovery through commercialisation, to the later stages (such as reclassification of a medicine on the General Sales List). We understand the local regulatory framework, but are actually collaborating on an international basis to achieve the product development goals, whether recruiting for a clinical study in the UK or harmonising the marketing authorisation across different countries and regions. Even if our role is local, our work is global.

A pharmaceutical medic will often move to a new job in a different country without needing additional validation or further qualifications. The training for our speciality can be applied globally, even if we need to ensure that we understand the local and regional requirements, we do the same job whatever country we're in. I think this makes pharmaceutical medicine a unique specialty, which is one of the reasons I enjoy being a pharmaceutical medic. 

In a world that is more distrustful of the political establishment and critical of big corporations, our work with the FPM as medical professionals must continue to ensure that people can get safe medicines everywhere in the world. Work that seems more important today, than ever.