The International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) has disputed some of the claims made by RPS in its open letter explaining its decision to leave FIP, announced last week (18 March). 

In a statement, published on its website this week (22 March), FIP said RPS’ claim that it paid a FIP membership fee of £31,000 annually was incorrect, by asserting the membership fee for 2022 was instead ‘approximately’ £25,352.  

The RPS’ letter to its members on 19 March, which explained the body's financial motives for leaving, also touched on the ‘an additional £53,000 in meeting attendance costs, travel and accommodation in 2019’ it had spent.   

However, FIP claimed this figure was based on personal financial ‘choices made by the former member organisation’. 

It explained its membership fee for organisations works on a sliding scale based on ‘purchasing power parity or world bank classification of countries’. 

FIP said it had members in ‘all regions of the world’ including those in low-, middle- and high-income countries.  

The fee would currently work out to ‘less than £1 per member each year’ for RPS, it added. 

This comes after RPS members complained about the lack of transparency around the body's decision to leave FIP

It also follows media speculation from the pharmacy press, which claimed that Robbie Turner, RPS’s director of pharmacy, and Gail Fleming, its director of education, were to be made redundant

RPS claimed it had ‘previously invited’ FIP to propose new ways to work with RPS to ‘improve the value and reduce the cost of membership’.  

However, the FIP statement claimed it was in fact holding ‘active discussions’ with the RPS during 2021 regarding the RPS’s ‘needs’ and how ‘value could be improved’.  

Therefore, FIP said it was ‘disappointed that this founding member voted that there was a lack of value in membership’. 

The statement said: ‘It is regretful that RPS has decided not to be a member of FIP in 2022, especially at a time when global solidarity on issues such as pharmacy workforce capacity, antimicrobial resistance, access to medicines and pharmaceutical care, and sustainability is so important,’ it said. 

Now is a time when ‘solidarity within the pharmacy profession is crucial’, it explained, while pointing to the coronavirus pandemic and the Russian invasion of Ukraine. 

RPS has been approached for comment.