The former editor of the Pharmaceutical Journal and Independent Community Pharmacist, Douglas Simpson, has been awarded an MBE for services to pharmaceutical journalism in the Queen’s birthday honours list.

Douglas qualified from the school of pharmacy at the then Sunderland technical college in 1965, where he edited the weekly student union’s newspaper, Dais. He worked briefly in community pharmacy before joining the Pharmaceutical Journal as a sub-editor. He went on to become assistant editor in 1973, senior assistant editor in 1981 and editor in 1987. In 1996 he was also appointed editorial director of PJ Publications.

He launched a number of publications during his editorship of the PJ, including the International Journal of Pharmacy Practice, the Hospital Pharmacist and Tomorrow’s Pharmacist. He also launched the PJ Online website and the Pharmaceutical Care Awards as a means of recognising innovation in pharmacy practice.

After retiring from the Society in 2000, Douglas worked as a freelance pharmaceutical journalist and for several years edited the quarterly newsletter of the Institute of Pharmacy Management, published by Communications International Group. In 2001 he became editor of Independent Community Pharmacist, also part of the CIG group. He stepped down as editor in 2012 but continues to work as consultant editor for the title.

Douglas commented: “I had three strokes of luck so far as journalism is concerned. The first was editing Dais, which showed me that a career in journalism was something I might enjoy. The second was being taken on by the PJ soon after I qualified. The third was being invited by Felim O’Brien to work with CIG on the IPMI newsletter and then on ICP. I hope all young pharmacists entering the profession have as much luck as I have had.”

Chief executive of CIG, Felim O’Brien, said: “This is an outstanding accolade and truly well deserved. We are delighted for Douglas and very proud of all he has achieved during a highly distinguished career. He has been a credit to the sector and has devoted his entire life to the profession. We are proud to have had Douglas as a member of our team for the past 17 years. He is a true asset to the company and a shining example of dedication and commitment.”

In 2003 Douglas was elected to the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s Council and in 2005 received the Society’s Charter gold medal.

A shining example of dedication and commitment


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