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really would like to practice pharmacy in the UK, but......

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  • really would like to practice pharmacy in the UK, but......

    Hi,

    I'm Canadian registered pharmacist (5 year BSc.(Pharm), one-year post-graduate clinical hospital residency, 2-year PharmD) and although I love my job in Canada, my husband's work demands that we'll likely be headed to the UK in the near future.

    The licencing requirements are discouraging to say the least. Am I the only one who thinks this mandatory OSPAP business is a little ridiculous? I fully understand the rational for pre-registration training (given legislative, and health system differences - albeit the system and scope of pharmacy practice are remarkably similar between Canada and the UK), but it seems odd that any regulatory authority would rather assume ALL foreign-trained pharmacists lack competency to practice as pharmacists and require "upgrading" rather than allowing them to prove whether or not that is in fact the case (particulary when pharmacy continues to be a shortage occupation in most countries). An OSPAP is a great idea actually, but shouldn't it be reserved for persons who are unable to pass the licensing exams? I understand the need for the public to be confident that professionals are qualified to do their jobs, but its hard to look at this as a requirement that is in the best interests of patient safety when EU nationals with EU qualification (no matter the EU country) are exempt and automatically considered qualified to practice in the UK.

    I'd be interested in hearing about the experiences of pharmacists who've taken the OSPAP so far and whether they thought it was worth the time and expense. If I have to do the OSPAP, I hope that it provides additional training specially focussed on UK specific issues in practice. I would be severely disappointed if it was just a rehash of the pharmacology, therapeutics, kinetics etc. that I know already. If you had the opportunity to do over, would you do it again, or consider switching careers completely (which sadly, I am...).

    Thanks - sorry, don't mean to rant - just a bit frustrated with the whole situation. Any word on whether the current overseas licensing requirements will change, or shall I expect the requirements to remain the same for the foreseeable future?

  • #2
    Re: really would like to practice pharmacy in the UK, but......

    This is a consequence of our politicians abandoning the old 'imperial empire idea' where we gave preference to our former colonies and opted to embrace Europe instead. The fact that the empire supported us during two world wars while we fought europe was disregarded. It was a great struggle to allow New Zealand Anchor butter to still be imported.

    When travelling abroad I felt more at home in Hong Kong than France.

    Visited Canada in the 70s and although only saw Niagara and Toronto, was mightily impressed by the friendliness of people I regarded as 'family'. My wife and daughter 'did' the rockies in the 90s and loved the glaciers and mountains. I would have been a canadian if the germans had'nt sunk The City of Benares.
    johnep

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    • #3
      Re: really would like to practice pharmacy in the UK, but......

      Hi! I'm a registered pharmacist in the Philippines and I really want to practice pharmacy in UK. Can anybody here help me how? Are there exams to take? What are the requirements? If ever I fail the exam, can I still work as a pharm tech or be assigned in the retail phamacy? Please help..

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      • #4
        Re: really would like to practice pharmacy in the UK, but......

        How much is the salary of a pharmacist in UK? Hospital? Drugstore?

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        • #5
          Re: really would like to practice pharmacy in the UK, but......

          its quite ironic that a pharmacist from estonia or romania would be considered fit to practice as a pharmacist in this country while those from S. Africa, Canada and USA are not considered in the same capacity, this country carries one of the most developed form of the profession in then world and eastern european countries and most of the developing countries lag far behind, pity the profession (RPSGB) bases its regulations along political lines rather than competence.
          We are the music makers, We are the dreamers of dreams and God damn we are that good

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          • #6
            Re: really would like to practice pharmacy in the UK, but......

            Pharmacists not necessary in UK 'drugstores' which stock GSL meds.

            1) GSL can be sold anywhere.

            2) P sold under supervision of pharmacist, beginning to be used in USA.

            3) POM Prescription only medicine.

            4) CD Controlled drug

            johnep

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            • #7
              Re: really would like to practice pharmacy in the UK, but......

              I did a bridging degree but still managed to spend 3 semesters in the UK and my MPharm degree was actually awarded by one of the uni in the UK, yet I still have to undergo the OSPAP, 52 weeks of pre-reg training (understandable) and of course, licensing exams... So, you are not the only person who is frustrated...

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              • #8
                Re: really would like to practice pharmacy in the UK, but......

                Originally posted by browneyed_girlksk View Post
                Hi,

                I'm Canadian registered pharmacist (5 year BSc.(Pharm), one-year post-graduate clinical hospital residency, 2-year PharmD) and although I love my job in Canada, my husband's work demands that we'll likely be headed to the UK in the near future.

                The licencing requirements are discouraging to say the least. Am I the only one who thinks this mandatory OSPAP business is a little ridiculous? I fully understand the rational for pre-registration training (given legislative, and health system differences - albeit the system and scope of pharmacy practice are remarkably similar between Canada and the UK), but it seems odd that any regulatory authority would rather assume ALL foreign-trained pharmacists lack competency to practice as pharmacists and require "upgrading" rather than allowing them to prove whether or not that is in fact the case (particulary when pharmacy continues to be a shortage occupation in most countries). An OSPAP is a great idea actually, but shouldn't it be reserved for persons who are unable to pass the licensing exams? I understand the need for the public to be confident that professionals are qualified to do their jobs, but its hard to look at this as a requirement that is in the best interests of patient safety when EU nationals with EU qualification (no matter the EU country) are exempt and automatically considered qualified to practice in the UK.

                I'd be interested in hearing about the experiences of pharmacists who've taken the OSPAP so far and whether they thought it was worth the time and expense. If I have to do the OSPAP, I hope that it provides additional training specially focussed on UK specific issues in practice. I would be severely disappointed if it was just a rehash of the pharmacology, therapeutics, kinetics etc. that I know already. If you had the opportunity to do over, would you do it again, or consider switching careers completely (which sadly, I am...).

                Thanks - sorry, don't mean to rant - just a bit frustrated with the whole situation. Any word on whether the current overseas licensing requirements will change, or shall I expect the requirements to remain the same for the foreseeable future?
                Hi browneyed_girlksk,

                I'm almost finished the OSPAP, I actually quite enjoyed it although I think it is probably mostly a money spinner for someone. The process of registering here is very frustrating, and the OSPAP is quite tough in terms of assignments etc, which to some extent can be difficult as not all really pharmacy related, or at least when I trained didn't have to write so many essays.

                I did the OSPAP because I want to work here, but I went in planning to update my pharmacology and have come out learning completely different things. Pharmacy in the UK is a lot less clinical than the American style pharmacy we were taught in Zimbabwe and there is reflective learning and reflective practise to bend your head around.

                Regarding the content, obviously will cover UK laws and set up... very useful, other than that you have to cover some basic sciences/formulation and some pharmacology/therapeutics but each institution does it differently. I emailed all the Schools for details at one point and most sent me syllabuses but you can find these online. As they are quite different in structure you can chose one that teaches prescribing, or one that has classes on two days, so you can get on with your life.... but the prescribing elements don't count for anything: you have to cover similar the same material after pre-reg at some point to be a prescriber but still very interesting.

                Other practical points:
                Many places fill up quite quickly,
                Deadline for applying for pre-reg (except for last minute) is usually well before the course starts.
                English exam is silly, (compulsory for people from English speaking non EU countries) but do a practise exam (available on line), especially if you are not used to writing essays by hand, or reading dull papers about why birds grow feathers. In my opinion you don't actually need much knowledge of English to pass as there is a technique to it, but can fail even if you have good language abilities and don't concentrate.
                Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time.
                (T. Pratchett)

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