Members of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) have complained about the lack of transparency around the body's decision to leave the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP).

This comes after the society announced today that it would not renew its organisational membership of FIP in 2022.

In a statement published on its website, the body said: ‘We have carefully considered how best to serve our members and meet our Charter obligations and believe, at the current time, this decision will help us focus on the delivery of our mission and vision’.

The RPS added that it would continue to be ‘an active participant in global pharmacy policy’ and would be at the ‘forefront of world-wide efforts to reduce antimicrobial resistance, end environmental harm and promote inclusiveness and diversity across the profession’.

Mohammed Hussain, a pharmacist and RPS fellow told The Pharmacist he believed RPS’ decision to leave FIP may have a financial basis.

‘What it highlights is that RPS does not value its member's input or views. It gave notice a year ago to leave FIP, but never informed members,’ he said.

‘This is a failing and dysfunctional organisation that needs a vote of confidence in its leadership.’

Keith Ridge, the former chief pharmaceutical officer for England, said on Twitter that he found it ‘hard to see’ how RPS would ‘effectively’ participate in global pharmacy policy without being a member of FIP.

‘The rationale for leaving FIP are ‘thin’ at best,’ he added.

Jay Badenhorst, managing director for Whitworth Chemists, said: ‘Why on earth did [RPS] do this? How many members did [they] not even ask about this?’

He added: ‘It is a dreadful decision and I'm sad to say that you probably will never tell us the real reasons why.’

In response to speculative tweets from members, Sandra Gidley, former chair of the English RPS pharmacy board, revealed the decision to leave was taken by the Assembly and because of the financial implications would have been discussed in confidential business.

‘That said, as it was such an important decision, I would have expected an announcement,’ she said, in a tweet.

This 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 has been approached for comment.