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  • US Pharmacist wanted to become licensed in GB

    I am a licensed pharmacist in the united states, and would like to pursue a pharmacist license in GB. Can anyone offer any helpful hints as to how to proceed? I have heard of the OSPAP and the pre-registration training. Does it mean it will take be at least two years to complete those two and be eligible to sit for the Society's registration examination? How much does the pre-registration year costs?

  • #2
    Re: US Pharmacist wanted to become licensed in GB

    At the moment you will have to take the qualifying exam, which normally means spending a year at one of the Uni's which offers the course. I did once know a S African pharmacist who did the exam without the course, but she was very bright and was working in Drug Information so had access to an enormous amount of current info. And she had very supportive colleagues who were anxious to see her qualify and join them, so spent time with her. Also it was several years ago.
    There is then a post-graduate pre-registration year which I have never heard of anyone getting exemption from! There's a structure to it, with competencies to be signed off. It is possible, although unusual, to fail it. There's an exam as well, which has to be passed.

    I'm not sure of the costs of the Uni year; Sunderland or Robert Gordons, who both offer the course will tell you. For the pre-reg year you should be able to get a placing in either hospital (admittedly getting fewer and further between) or community pharmacy. While the pay won't allow you to live it up, it should bring in enough bread to keep the wolf from the door, unless you've a family.

    Might change as a result of the licensing changes in 2011/12 but the new authority will take, I suspect, a while to get going.

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    • #3
      Re: US Pharmacist wanted to become licensed in GB

      Originally posted by the old merlin View Post
      At the moment you will have to take the qualifying exam, which normally means spending a year at one of the Uni's which offers the course. I did once know a S African pharmacist who did the exam without the course, but she was very bright and was working in Drug Information so had access to an enormous amount of current info. And she had very supportive colleagues who were anxious to see her qualify and join them, so spent time with her. Also it was several years ago.
      There is then a post-graduate pre-registration year which I have never heard of anyone getting exemption from! There's a structure to it, with competencies to be signed off. It is possible, although unusual, to fail it. There's an exam as well, which has to be passed.

      I'm not sure of the costs of the Uni year; Sunderland or Robert Gordons, who both offer the course will tell you. For the pre-reg year you should be able to get a placing in either hospital (admittedly getting fewer and further between) or community pharmacy. While the pay won't allow you to live it up, it should bring in enough bread to keep the wolf from the door, unless you've a family.

      Might change as a result of the licensing changes in 2011/12 but the new authority will take, I suspect, a while to get going.

      I believe that it is only recently that all non-EU pharmacists have to do the OSPAP regardless of where they trained. Most of the overseas pharmacists I have met or heard of here came before 2004 and just did an interview and pre-reg (or mostly part of pre-reg: in the early 00's it was 4 weeks) or the OSPAP if they failed the interview.

      The tuition fees were around £7000 (Robert Gordon) to £8500 and living shouldn't cost more than £7000 for the OSPAP year but I found myself spending more than that I think. Pre-reg year you get a livable salary but apply early as places are limited too many pre-reg pharmacists. Also look round the universities that offer the course there are some major differences.

      I think you will enjoy the OSPAP year if you don't take it too seriously but if you take it very seriously you can get a post grad diploma with distinction whatever that means. :-)

      Best advice though is to get your application in now and apply for pre-reg by end of June (i think) as latest. From experience getting your application in at the end of May, then applying for a place and pre-reg in August is quite stressful and carries some risk.

      Regards,

      Paul
      Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time.
      (T. Pratchett)

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      • #4
        Re: US Pharmacist wanted to become licensed in GB

        Only Aus/NZ pharmacists were exempt from the OSPAP course. The South African pharmacist I referred to did her degree about 1990, and her registration in UK around 200 She was brilliant and also an excellent communicator.

        Sadly for British pharmacy she's gone to NZ.

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        • #5
          Re: US Pharmacist wanted to become licensed in GB

          Originally posted by Van View Post
          I am a licensed pharmacist in the united states, and would like to pursue a pharmacist license in GB. Can anyone offer any helpful hints as to how to proceed? I have heard of the OSPAP and the pre-registration training. Does it mean it will take be at least two years to complete those two and be eligible to sit for the Society's registration examination? How much does the pre-registration year costs?
          Van,
          I am also a licensed pharmacist in the U.S. I have a colleague who moved to GB (married someone from there) and she applied for licensure there and was told the same OSAP+pre-reg=2yrs. This, of course, discouraged her. My wife also told me someone here took "a test??" there and failed it twice. Not sure she knows much more about that? We've thought about going there as well, mainly to be closer to her family. As I've looked into it more, it probably seems appropriate in terms of training as you must learn their rules and regulations, their health care system, and their formulary. I'm not sure about the price they charge though for the OSAP, the quoted prices on this thread are correct, but I think to say they are overpriced would be an understatement. Overall, this is just another process whereby each country protects their own and also their own public. My wife transferred her license here to the US, and the whole process took about 3-4 years. We don't make it easy either! I think the other important thing to keep in mind is that this is the required process for licensure to get you in the door......your professional experience thusfar will be the cornerstone in landing a particular job or career path you want.

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          • #6
            Re: US Pharmacist wanted to become licensed in GB

            It is really good to have colleagues from the USA on this forum. During a visit to Naples Fl, I called in on an independent pharmacy to see how they survive.

            The pharmacist told me that at that time they were fighting to retain compounding. I thought this would be mainly ointments, but a later conversation with a Prof from Gainesville elicited a heated response. he was dead against it as he told me pharmacies were preparing capsules and injections with little controls. In the UK compounding of 'specials' has been taken over by 'specials' laboratories and a charge of 100gbpnds is not unusual for 500g of 1% menthol in aqueous cream (actually this one now dead as a company has launched branded version, but still expensive).

            I am sure others can give examples of the costs of non standard prescribing.
            johnep

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            • #7
              Re: US Pharmacist wanted to become licensed in GB

              Is there a US pharmacy web forum like this? I would love to read all their posts about their systems.

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              • #8
                Re: US Pharmacist wanted to become licensed in GB

                I used to visit studentpharmacist but lost the link.
                johnep

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                • #9
                  Re: US Pharmacist wanted to become licensed in GB

                  Originally posted by johnep View Post
                  It is really good to have colleagues from the USA on this forum. During a visit to Naples Fl, I called in on an independent pharmacy to see how they survive.

                  The pharmacist told me that at that time they were fighting to retain compounding. I thought this would be mainly ointments, but a later conversation with a Prof from Gainesville elicited a heated response. he was dead against it as he told me pharmacies were preparing capsules and injections with little controls. In the UK compounding of 'specials' has been taken over by 'specials' laboratories and a charge of 100gbpnds is not unusual for 500g of 1% menthol in aqueous cream (actually this one now dead as a company has launched branded version, but still expensive).

                  I am sure others can give examples of the costs of non standard prescribing.
                  johnep
                  Johnep,
                  Typically here, "compounding pharmacies" are the ones who do most of the compounding. Most of your retail/chain pharmacies simply don't have the time, but may do basic compounding (for example ours makes an omeprazole suspension for kids which is quite easy or a lidocaine topical gel for neuropathy). The problem in the US is that it really isn't regulated and is just based off of recipes. There is no standard whereby pharmacies are held accountable to ensure what they are preparing is indeed accurate. This may be changing though (I'm not sure as I don't keep up on this aspect of pharmacy). The other problem here is that physicians are taught to practice evidence-based medicine, and with compounded products, the evidence lacks and most of it is anecdotal. The other issue here is the whole liability of prescribing a compounded product that ends up causing someone harm and results in a lawsuit. I think many steer clear for these reasons. In terms of pharmacy though, I think it is a great niche if you owned one of these pharmacies.

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                  • #10
                    Re: US Pharmacist wanted to become licensed in GB

                    Do the US insurance companies cover compounded products?

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