Season greetings from the FPM President and Chief Executive

Posted on: Wednesday 23 December 2020
Author: Tim Higenbottam

Dear Members,

The Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine (FPM) wishes to thank you for your continued support during this year.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a once in a lifetime challenge to us all and is not yet over. We wish to salute our colleagues in the NHS and the wider public health community who have been tireless and courageous in supporting patients and the public at large. In addition we recognise those who volunteered for COVID clinical trials. If there is one observation it is the extent of collaboration across all sectors of our country.

This collaboration has led to the rapid approval of new medicines and vaccines in the last nine months with more being developed to give us the best chance of preventing and treating the disease. We acclaim the partnerships with industry, with hospital and community physicians conducting clinical trials, with charities, universities, the NHS and of course with patients, without whom there would be no research. We also acknowledge the innovative work of the regulatory authorities in the UK, EU, Japan, and USA. The work is not done yet and the ongoing collaboration will be critical to continuing the development of vaccines and therapeutics to give us the best chance of preventing the disease and treating it where that is not possible, as well as tackling the issues arising from Long COVID.

We should not forget the ongoing work in all the other disease areas and we want to acknowledge everyone who continues to develop new medicines and vaccines for everything else, despite the challenging circumstances. We wish to thank our members for answering our survey and report on resilience of clinical trials during COVID-19. The report describes the many adaptations and innovations that maintained new medicines clinical development during COVID-19. The insights provide a guide to the future of development of medicines and devices, built again on the strong foundations of collaboration.

Not always recognised, we would like to thank the FPM Board of Trustees, who supported investments over the last two years to develop a new website, on-line meetings and training, and remote-invigilated exams. These facilities enabled the outstanding FPM online Education Week in June and last month’s highly relevant FPM Annual Symposium on Future Trends in Pharmaceutical Medicine. Their foresight enabled us to keep in touch with our global members during successive COVID-19 lockdowns.

FPM will be starting the new year with our postponed annual FPM Awards ceremony. It will be a virtual event and take place on Friday 15 January 2021. We’ll be celebrating the successful candidates in our examinations plus the awards of CCTs for those who demonstrated competency in our Specialty Training Programme. Additionally, we will be recognising colleagues who have made significant contributions to FPM and to the specialty of pharmaceutical medicine. All FPM members are welcome to join and celebrate. Find out more.

May we wish you good health, some fun and joy in what remains of our festive season. Looking forward to 2021 with courage and fortitude, with hope and confidence in our power when working together, to overcome this terrible pandemic.

Prof Tim Higenbottam
President of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine

Dr Marcia Philbin
Chief Executive of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine