It is 25 years since the first issue of Pharmacy Magazine was published. Much has changed, but some things are timeless, says editor Richard Thomas
Remember 1995? John Major was prime minister, Pierce Brosnan played James Bond for the first time and Robson and Jerome topped the album charts. Not exactly a vintage year. In pharmacy, contractors were dissatisfied with remuneration, mandatory training standards for medicines counter assistants had been announced and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain called on pharmacists to “seize and shape the future”.
How little seems to have changed.
The reality, of course, is that much has changed in pharmacy, health and politics over the past 25 years. In our special anniversary issue we reflect on some of the most significant developments, and also look ahead.
Pharmacy publishing in 2020 is very different too. In 1995 continuing education, never mind continuing professional development, was still a novel concept. So for a title to launch with the aim of providing pharmacists with structured CPD to support their developing clinical role was a bold, innovative move.
And it remains today our raison d’etre, in print and across our various digital platforms, along with giving community pharmacists a voice, defending their interests, championing what they do and holding those in power to account. And if we give our readers something to smile about as well, so much the better.
The sheer complexity and challenges inherent in pharmacists’ role in 2020 are a quantum leap away from 1995. Workload and patient expectations (as well as those of commissioners) have risen inexorably, often unreasonably. Yet, despite everything, pharmacy continues to deliver, as shown emphatically during the Covid crisis, the sector’s finest hour in our 25 years of coverage.
It has been humbling to witness. Just think what pharmacy could achieve with the right backing.