The Origins of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine


I’ve been involved with the Faculty of
Pharmaceutical Medicine since its inauguration in 1989, when at that time I
was a foundation board member of the Faculty. We discovered that cells had receptors that we could block or we could
antagonise, and that just, all the beta blockers all the angiotensin inhibitors
all the lipid lowering treatments, we suddenly discovered that we could
manipulate the body’s systems much better and all of that started in the late
60s/early 70s, so the 80s was just incredible. Everybody was
working on really interesting treatments. The Faculty was actually the next step
forward really, I mean the whole thing has been developed since the 1950s and
60s and 70s and it was in the 80s that then it became, if you like, mature enough. The actual proposal to have a Faculty was in 1986 at the AMAPI, the
Association of Medical Advisers in the Pharmaceutical Industry annual meeting,
which actually took place in the Royal College of Physicians. We were discussing
whether medical advisers was really the right terminology for people who are an
integral part of the pharmaceutical industry and taking very significant
decisions. We started talking about whether we should be called
pharmaceutical physicians as opposed to medical advisers and I stood up and
suggested that possibly we should form the same sort of professional
underpinning that other physicians have. So at the end of the annual general
meeting of AMAPI there was a couple of camps, one was to discuss how we change
the name to BrAPP, the British Association of Pharmaceutical Physicians,
and the other was perhaps we could actually set up a
faculty and Peter and I and a couple of others went to have breakfast with Bill
Hoffenberg, Sir Raymond Hoffenberg, who was the then president of the Royal
College of Physicians. Hoffenberg and the others, I don’t know whether Flic mentioned this,
but Hoffenberg was actually very encouraging in drawing us in, as were
the Edinburgh and Glasgow colleges. He actually sat there we had our silver
service for breakfast and he thought this was quite a good idea. We explained
that there needed to be standards so that people were operating who were
trained to do the prescribing that we did for the country, globally whatever we
were doing, and he looked at me and he said “Flic I think you would be the
youngest person and possibly not the right sex to be called a ‘grandfather’
because that’s what we will do we will grandfather you all into the Faculty at
the start of the setting up the Faculty. So once we persuaded Bill Hoffenberg it took us another three years to get to the point where we had the
Faculty inaugurated and during that time I was the chair of the founding
committee. Just two months before the actual inauguration ceremony the
president of the Royal College of Physicians switched from Bill Hoffenberg
to Margaret Turner Warwick who I think as everybody knows was quite a daunting
lady, and I was summoned to her office to try for her to understand why some
commercial group of people in medicine should now have their own faculty and
how on earth was she going to actually defend this? So we had a quite
difficult meeting and I tried to explain to her that it actually was a very
important discipline, and to give her her due she went on to support us really
incredibly over the next few years of her presidency in order to help us get
the PMST under way.

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