Professionalism In and Around Pharmacy Practice

Duncan Rudkin – General Pharmaceutical Council


As we’ve had talks from a variety of professionals from UCL and external bodies, a common statement keeps arising; patients must be our priority. This shows the kind of scrutiny the pharmaceutical industry is facing regarding profit vs patients.


Duncan Rudkin, Chief Executive & Registrar for the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) delivered a talk on the importance of professionalism in pharmacy practice. Professionalism in pharmacy is about applying what you know, in order to deliver the safest and most effective service to the patient. Subsequently, a true professional is held accountable for his/her actions, and must be able to justify any sort of decision-making. Although this may sound like a heavy responsibility, Rudkin reassured us that wherever we work as pharmacists, there will always be a team supporting us. As a regulator for the pharmaceutical council, he assures that pharmacies always provide the support, resources, information and backing that a pharmacist needs, especially when faced with adversity.


The GPhC is responsible for ensuring that pharmacists and pharmacies are as professional as can be and provide the safest and most effective services to patients. They have been working on the argument that pharmacists should not provide patients with medicines based on their personal beliefs, whether religious or values based, but rather how the doctor sees fit for that patient. As future pharmacists, part of our professionalism is to avoid finding ourselves in situations where we try to impose our personal values on patients. As we are held accountable, we must justify any decision made. However, refusing to provide a patient with a certain medicine based on ones personal beliefs is not a justifiable excuse, and will undoubtedly hinder that individuals career path.


In this sector, communication and transparency are key to a successful career. We must trust the organizations we work for, and communicate any information that may hinder our support and protection at a later date.


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