A director at Alliance Healthcare has been awarded honorary life membership of the British Pharmaceutical Students’ Association (BPSA).

Mike Smith, who is the UK non-executive director at the healthcare company, joked he must be “the oldest student in the UK” after receiving the prestigious accolade.

Smith, who is a community pharmacist in Devon and a fellow of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, was chosen for his “decades of support” and passion for independent pharmacy.

Speaking at the 74th BPSA annual conference, he said: “These young people, who are the future of our profession, have a very clear idea of current affairs affecting our industry – from pay cuts to new services and regulatory changes.

“The pharmaceutical world is exhilarating and challenging, but can also be hugely gratifying.

“I look forward to continuing to support, encourage and inspire the BPSA’s talented students, who wish to embark upon a career in pharmacy.”

Former BPSA president, Noel Wicks, said: “Mike Smith has given the BPSA decades of support in the form of an unwavering belief that pharmacy students will shape the pharmacy landscape of tomorrow.

“This has been backed up by actions that demonstrate this belief. Mike has not only been inspiring me for the past 15 years, but has motivated many hundreds, if not thousands of other young pharmacists.”

“His ability to gather support from other organizations and companies to help fund things like annual and area conferences, talks and competitions, is extremely commendable.”

The BPSA conference is an annual event where pharmacy students, pre-registration trainees and past BPSA members meet for debates and workshops.