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Professor Tim Higenbottam to be the next President of the FPM

The Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine is pleased to announce that Professor Tim Higenbottam FFPM has been elected as its next President. Professor Higenbottam, currently Vice President, will take up office on 1st November 2018.

Professor Higenbottam commented "I am delighted and honoured to have this opportunity to be the next President of the Faculty. As a pharmaceutical physician with over 30yrs experience, first in the NHS, in academia, in big pharma, biotech and consulting, I hope to build on Professor Boyd’s achievements by sustaining the outward looking Faculty and voice of authority for pharmaceutical medicine professionals.

Pharmaceutical Medicine is a specialty that dedicates itself to ensuring that the physicians involved, meet incredibly high standards. Pharmaceutical physicians have a critical role in study design, data generation, accurate reporting, ultimately achieve approval, and then oversee products. The success of the PMST and value of the CCT has brought more members to the Faculty especially from overseas, whilst appraisals/revalidation has encouraged membership of our independent consultants. I will be looking for the growth of the membership through focus support for all classes of membership. I hope that I can count on members' support as Pharmaceutical Medicine is entering a phase of critical importance, both for medicines innovation and UK economics (UK Health Sciences Strategy)."

Professor Alan Boyd, current President said "I am very pleased that Professor Tim Higenbottam has been elected as the next President of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine. Having known Tim for a number of years now and having worked with him at the Faculty, I feel confident that he has the experience and ability to continue the Faculty’s focus on developing the membership and also on being more externally focused. During my presidency I have seen a very positive change in the way that other organisations and institutions are now viewing our Faculty and approaching us for our advice and contributions on multiple topics. I know that Tim will be able to build on these relationships for the benefit of the Faculty and I want to wish him every success in his new role."





Clinical Pharmacology Skills Alliance launched to combat clinical pharmacology skills shortage

For some time, the UK health and research sectors have been suffering from a shortfall in skilled clinical pharmacologists.

Recognising the scale and depth of this challenge, the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), the British Pharmacological Society, the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine and Health Education England have come together to form the Clinical Pharmacology Skills Alliance to develop a long-term, cross-sector action plan for clinical pharmacology. These skills are of strategic importance as the UK prepares to deliver a sector deal for the life sciences.

The clinical pharmacology skills shortage represents a significant threat to the maintenance of effective clinical service within the NHS and limits the attractiveness of the UK as a place to conduct national and international clinical research. Investing in clinical pharmacology presents an opportunity to support the delivery of a UK industrial strategy and to contribute to patient care and safety including the efficient deployment of limited resources within the NHS.

The Clinical Pharmacology Skills Alliance will develop creative solutions for growing the clinical pharmacology skills pipeline and the delivery of key competencies in line with priorities across the healthcare and life sciences sectors. The Alliance aims:

  • To understand the demand for clinical pharmacology skills and associated career pathways
  • To drive high awareness of clinical pharmacology in the potential talent pool
  • To deliver a high quality and streamlined training experience
  • To be the stewards of clinical pharmacology, now and into the future


Professor Alan Boyd, President of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine said:
"Skills and resources in clinical pharmacology are an absolute requirement for the research and development of new medicinal products and their approval for licensing by the regulatory authorities. Over the last twenty years or so, the specialty of clinical pharmacology has declined across the UK and this is now having a significant impact on our ability to develop medicines. This critical situation must be addressed urgently and the establishment of the Clinical Pharmacology Skills Alliance, should be able to facilitate the reversal of this decline.’’


Dr Sheuli Porkess, Interim Executive Director, Research, Medical & Innovation, ABPI said:
“The skills shortage in clinical pharmacology has been a persistent theme in the bi-annual ABPI skills survey. We are very pleased to be part of the Clinical Pharmacology Skills Alliance which will provide solutions in order to attract, train and retain the clinical pharmacologists of the future.”

Andrew Foxley, Chair of the Experimental Medicine Network of the ABPI said:
“Clinical pharmacology clinicians and scientists are key contributors throughout the development of new medicines, and are responsible for designing and running the clinical trials that will be a key component in achieving a successful UK life sciences strategy. The Clinical Pharmacology Skills Alliance brings together the right organisations with the expertise to tackle this pressing skills challenge across the broad spectrum of the skills pipeline.”

Professor Sir Munir Pirmohamed, Vice-President (Clinical) of the British Pharmacological Society said:
“Clinical pharmacologists have expertise across the whole research spectrum from early phase trials to applied research. They are experts in translational approaches to developing new drugs, improving the use of existing drugs, and contribute widely to the safe, effective and efficient use of medicines in the wider NHS – including health technology assessment and regulation. We need to invest in this specialty, and to ensure that clinical pharmacology expertise is accessible across the NHS.”

Professor David Webb, President of the British Pharmacological Society said:
“The formation of the Clinical Pharmacology Skills Alliance – and the partnerships we will need to create with other healthcare professionals – is a crucial step towards building UK clinical pharmacology, realising its potential and adding value to an essential service within the NHS and Industry.”

Professor Wendy Reid, Health Education England's Director of Education and Quality said:
"Health Education England’s primary purpose is to ensure that the workforce of today and tomorrow has the right numbers, skills, values and behaviours, at the right time and in the right place. We recognise the important contribution that the Clinical Pharmacology workforce make to the NHS and the delivery of the Life Sciences agenda. We are delighted to be working in conjunction with our partners in the Clinical Pharmacology Alliance to support the development of the Clinical Pharmacology workforce."








Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine comment on the Government's response to the Accelerated Access Review

Today (3.11.17), the FPM welcomed the Government's response to the Accelerated Access Review. Read the statement here.




For the latest information about the Faculty's consultation and referendum relating to the Board's recommendation to admit non-medically qualified individuals as Affilate members of the Faculty - click here




Journal article on the FPM and Pharmaceutical Medicine

Article outlining the history of the Faculty and the specialty of pharmaceutical medicine published by the Journal of Medicine Development Sciences published online today. Read it here

The article was authored by Faculty staff members Ben Cottam (Policy and Communications Officer) and Konrad Obiora (Professional Standards Administrator), current President Alan Boyd and past-President Peter Stonier.





Professor Alan Boyd, President of the FPM, leads an Academy of Medical Royal Colleges statement in response to Secretaries of State for Heath and Industry's letter to the Financial Times regarding the impact of Brexit on medicines regulation

Read the statement here




Joint BIA/FPM workshop 'The Patient is Waiting': workshop on strategic options for expediting clinical research' - 27.4.17 - FPM - report published

The BIA’s Science & Innovation Advisory Committee and Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine (FPM) brought together representatives from Biotech, Pharma, the MHRA, Academia and Medical Charities, to discuss strategic options for expediting clinical research. The meeting was opened by joint chairs, Professor Alan Boyd, President of the FPM, and Dr Will West, Vice-Chair of the UK BioIndustry Association (BIA) Science and Innovation Advisory Committee (SIAC). Representatives from Large Pharma, Biotech, and the MHRA gave short talks, which were then followed by discussion sessions.

The combined experience of the workshop attendees from across the biotech/healthcare community, reinforces the fact that the United Kingdom remains an extremely attractive region in which to conduct the clinical development of new treatments modalities; both early and late phase. The intention of both the BIA and FPM was to address some of the points highlighted, such as the good science base supporting pre-clinical to clinical translational science and the many opportunities for patient recruitment via specialized networks.

A report of the meeting has now been published by the BIA - you can download here.





RCP Specialty Spotlight - pharmaceutical medicine

This month pharmaceutical medicine has been featured in the RCP's Specialty Spotlight web series. Dr Urmi Shukla, ST4 pharmaceutical medicine and Professor Alan Boyd took part. Visit the RCP website for more information.


RCP Medicines 2017

Professor Boyd chaired a talk in the opening plenary session with Dr Adrian Woolfson (Pfizer). Dr Woolfson spoke about "Preparing for the functional cure of human diseases: Towards a self-financing healthcare system." Professor Boyd and Dr Woolfson were afterwards interviewed by Sarah Lockett and spoke about what needs to be done to afford the next generation of drugs, and that the NHS can, and should, do more. 



Obituary: Former FPM President Dr Richard Tiner

The Faculty was sorry to learn of the recent death of its former President, Dr Richard Tiner. Dr Tiner was a dedicated advocate for the importance of pharmaceutical medicine, and was elected as President of the Faculty in 2009 serving for a three-year term. He had a long and varied career, including as a National Research Ethics Advisor.

Dr. Tiner qualified at The Middlesex Hospital Medical School in 1974. He specialised in General Practice and for many years worked as a GP Principal in Taunton, Somerset. He went on to serve as the Medical Director of of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) from 1996-2009. He was on a number of influential committees and boards, such as the UK Clinical Research Collaboration Board, the National Cancer Research Institute Board and the Medical Advisory Board of the General Practice Research Database (GPRD).

Dr Tiner will be remembered fondly by members and staff who had the privilege of knowing him. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this sad time.



FPM President, Professor Alan Boyd featured in BMJ Confidential

Professor Alan Boyd has been featured in the latest edition of the British Medical Journal. He discusses his ambitions for the Faculty, his career in pharmaceutical medicine, his penchant for chocolate, and what he'd do with one million pounds! Read the full article here.






FPM President signs Royal College of Physicians letter to the Prime Minister regarding pressures on the NHS

Today, the FPM President, Prof Alan Boyd, is a joint signatory to a letter from the Royal College of Physicians' Council to the Prime Minister, The Rt Hon Teresa May, highlighting the threats to the NHS and calling for an immediate injection of extra funding and a reinvigoration of social care services.

Read the letter in full here.

Prof Boyd said:


"This morning a letter was sent to the Prime Minister from the Council of the Royal College of Physicians, London setting out concerns about the crisis facing the NHS in the UK in terms of lack of capacity and resources. As a member of the RCP Council, representing the Faculty, I was a co-signatory to the letter.

As President of the Faculty, I share the concerns that my clinical colleagues have on the Council about this matter and particularly when patient safety is paramount. I am also concerned about the impact that this crisis will have on the research and development activities that many of us from all over the world are involved with our colleagues in the NHS. The treatment of sick patients must always come first, however, inevitably it is patients that will ultimately loose out again in the longer term. Therefore it is important that as a Faculty we do voice our concerns in order to influence the Government in the UK and other interested parties, so that this dreadful situation can be improved for the benefit of patients."



FPM President, Prof Alan Boyd, receives the Bionow 2016 Outstanding Contribution Award


The President, Professor Alan Boyd, received the Outstanding Contribution Award at the 15th annual Bionow Awards Ceremony on Thursday 24th November.

The Outstanding Contribution award was given in recognition of Professor Boyd’s significant contribution to the development of medicines and pharmaceutical medicine as an industrialist, an educator and an inspirational leader.










Prof Alan Boyd (centre) receiving the award.



FPM President, Prof Alan Boyd, Signatory in letter to the Prime Minister regarding the junior doctors

Dear Prime Minister,

You have spoken many times about your commitment to the NHS. In our view, as leaders of the medical profession, the ongoing impasse in the dispute between Government and junior doctors poses a significant threat to our whole healthcare system by demoralising a group of staff on whom the future of the NHS depends. At this eleventh hour, we call upon you to intervene, bring both parties back to the negotiating table, end this damaging stand-off, and initiate an honest debate about the serious difficulties facing UK health services.

Yours sincerely,

Professor Neena Modi, President, Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health
Dr Liam Brennan, President, Royal College of Anaesthetists
Professor Derek Bell, President, Royal College of Physicians Edinburgh
Professor Jane Dacre, President, Royal College of Physicians London
Dr Suzy Lishman, President, Royal College of Pathologists
Dr Giles Maskell, President, Royal College of Radiologists
Dr David Richmond, President, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
Professor David Galloway, President, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow
Professor Maureen Baker, Chair, Royal College of General Practitioners
Dr Chris Wilkinson, President, Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare
Dr Anna Batchelor, Dean, Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine
Professor Carrie McEwan, President, Royal College of Ophthalmologists
Professor Alan Boyd, President, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine


FPM signatory in letter to Times regarding overuse of antibiotics

Today the FPM President, Prof Alan Boyd, was a signatory in a letter to the Times calling for greater political action against the overuse of antibiotics in agriculture. Read the letter here.






Professor Sir William Asscher
We are very sorry to announce the death on 20th July 2014 of Professor Sir William Asscher MD FRCP, Former Principal of St George’s Hospital Medical School. Sir William also served as President of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine between 1995 and 1997 and contributed greatly to both the development of the Faculty and the specialty of pharmaceutical medicine. Sir William will be remembered fondly by the many members and staff of the Faculty who knew him.






25th Anniversary
Today (7/4/14) sees the launch of the FPM's 25th anniversary celebrations. Throughout 2014 a series of events will be held to mark the occasion, culminating in the annual dinner and annual symposium on the 17th and 18th of Nov respectively. The Faculty was founded in 1989 and you can read an archive of historical documents here.


Faculty welcomes the Science and Technology Select Committee's report on Clinical Trials
The Faculty today responded positively to the Science and Technology Committee's Report on Clinical Trials.

Keith Bragman, President of the Faculty, said "This report is a shot in the arm for all of us who have been working hard to bring about a greater transparency and accountability in clinical research. The Faculty has strongly advocated increased transparency, but has also been supportive of the need to identify and implement remedies which protect the privacy and rights of patients and research subjects, and the interests of all stakeholders..."

Read the full statement here


Faculty responds to the PMCPA review of the ABPI Code of Practice
The Faculty has today submitted our response to the PMCPA outlining our views on the proposed amendments to the Code, with particular concern for the proposed changes in Amendment 6 relating to sign-off of educational and non-promotional material (outlined in Clause 14.3) by a registered medical practitioner. We do not believe that this amendment would be in the best interests of patients and have urged that PMCPA to reconsider this proposal.

Read the letter to the PMCPA from Dr Keith Bragman, President of the Faculty, here.



scitechPresident gives evidence to Clinical Trials Inquiry
On 13th March the President of the Faculty, Dr Keith Bragman, gave oral evidence to the Science and Technology Select Committee's inquiry into Clinical Trials. You can watch the recording here (begins at 1h 24mins). BMJ article on the evidence session here.



The Faculty has today signed up to the 'AllTrials' campaign (, that has recently been established to champion transparency in clinical trial data.

The aims of the campaign are that "All trials past and present should be registered, and the full methods and the results reported". The Faculty has shown a longstanding commitment to the publication and dissemination of trial data through our Guiding Principles for Pharmaceutical Physicians, and we see the aims of the AllTrials campaign as being closely aligned to this commitment. The Guiding Principles unequivocally state that "All studies should be performed to increase knowledge in some useful way, and there should be openness and honesty in the sharing of this knowledge with the wider world. Study findings need to be communicated, whatever the outcome, for the benefit of the community at large". We believe that the increased scrutiny of clinical trial data will result in enhanced and more rigorous science, and will ultimately lead to better health outcomes for patients. The proposal to sign up to the campaign received unanimous support from the Faculty Board.

Pharmatimes has covered the Faculty's signing up to alltrials in an article here.