The PDA recently held their 12th Annual General Meeting as a trade union where they revealed another record increase in membership numbers. Due to the pandemic, the meeting was the first general meeting of the union to be held virtually.

At the Annual General Meeting, the PDA Union General Secretary, John Murphy reported another successful year for the PDA including a 7.7% (2,180) net increase in members from 1st April 2019 to 31 March 2020 at which point the membership numbers stood at 30,393.

Mr Murphy began his report with an acknowledgement of the challenges and exhaustion experienced by pharmacists due to the pandemic, remarking how they have coped with this pandemic and also thanking the PDA team for their determination in representing the needs of members during this time. As Mr Murphy reported, much more will be said about the pandemic next year as PDA annual reports cover the periods between April-March each year.

Other key developments highlighted in Mr Murphy’s annual report included:

  • The historic union recognition agreement signed with Boots in July 2019. This agreement is the largest trade union recognition deal in UK pharmacy history.
  • The relaunch of the National Association of Women Pharmacists (NAWP) as part of the PDA. This network has since been joined by 3 other Equality Diversity and Inclusion networks focused on BAME pharmacists, Pharmacists with a disability and LGBT pharmacists (learn more).
  • The PDA’s key role in stopping the initial ill-thought-out apprenticeship proposal (learn more). Which was then recommenced by some employers.
  • The PDA campaign to end violence in pharmacies, which had already received significant traction and support from Police forces around the UK even before the pandemic began.
  • The PDA campaign to improve safety in pharmacies for both pharmacists and patients, including the results of the 2019 Safer Pharmacies Survey.
  • The increasing volumes of support provided by PDA to members, including a record year of recovering more than £50,000 owed to locums by pharmacy owners. and £400,000 in payments received by pharmacists who had been mistreated by their employers.

These were just some of the many topics highlighted during the meeting and Mr Murphy summarised the year by saying:

“This meeting completes our 12th year as a trade union. Created and governed by pharmacists, we are the voice of pharmacists. PDA Union is the largest pharmacist membership organisation and the only independent trade union exclusively for pharmacists in the UK.

Our membership and influence continue to grow, and our reputation has been strengthened by our principled stand on issues maintaining the absolute view that we avoid conflict of interests and act in the interests of individual pharmacists.

We continue to evolve, strengthen and broaden what we do for pharmacists at the same time as increasing the number of pharmacists that we directly represent. I look forward to our next year of continuing this exciting journey.”

After formal business concluded, attendees were invited to participate in a question and answer session. PDA members unable to attend the session are reminded that the PDA always want to hear from them and are encouraged to comment on social media, speak to their local representatives and/or contact the advice line if they need personalised advice or representation.

For more information about the PDA, visit: