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Message from John Murphy, General Secretary of PDA Union

A farewell message from John Murphy, who retires today.

Fri 31st March 2023 The PDA

John Murphy, the PDA’s first Director and General Secretary of the PDA Union since its inception in 2008, retires today and sends the following message:  

“The PDA Union National Executive Committee (NEC) has a five-year cycle of elections and I chose not to seek a fourth term of office. I’m delighted instead to be able to congratulate Mark Pitt, who was elected as General Secretary and I know will do a fantastic job as my successor. He has been an outstanding Assistant General Secretary for the last 15 years and deservedly takes on the GS role.

I’d like to thank all those who have served their fellow pharmacists by being part of the NEC until today and to mention Richard Evans, Sid Rahman, and Dave Tyas, who also complete their service on the NEC today. Congratulations to all members of the new NEC, who start their five-year terms of office tomorrow.

As I reflect to how things were when I was previously elected as General Secretary, 5, 10, and 15 years ago, I am proud that the PDA is in better condition than ever to deal with the issues that matter and impact upon employed and locum pharmacists and our patients.

When we created the PDA Union, we could not have known for certain exactly how it would evolve. In fact, pharmacists have overwhelmingly recognised the benefits of having an independent voice speaking exclusively for them and they have enthusiastically embraced being part of a trade union.

The PDA Union is just a part of the PDA and together as pharmacists we have built an organisation that is focused exclusively on the interests and views of pharmacists and that can help us individually and collectively and is free of the influence and control of employers, whether those employers are private businesses or the government.

That we have now exceeded 36,000 members is an incredible achievement for pharmacists and our shared commitment to the future of our profession. However, it is not just in the ever-increasing size of our membership, but also the breadth and depth of our activities that is perhaps most impressive.

Today the PDA does so much, I cannot mention all details here, but suffice to say, wherever a pharmacist practices in the UK, the PDA is looking out for their interests as professionals, as their  union, as their defence association and as Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Networks.

So wherever you work as a pharmacist, please don’t just join the PDA, but also encourage your pharmacist colleagues to do so also; follow our social media; read and respond to our communications; participate in our surveys and in our training; attend our webinars and events; become an accredited workplace representative; talk to your regional committee; get involved in the EDI Networks and help us to help you so that all pharmacists understand and can exercise their rights at work, we can exert our positive influence as a profession and together we can advance our practise for the benefits of patients and wider society.

Best wishes to all PDA members for the future, a huge thank you to the PDA staff, and those members who have served as representatives or committee members over the years. I’m always going to advocate for the work the PDA does, but from now on will be doing so as a ‘Retired’ Member.”


By John Murphy, General Secretary of the PDA Union

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The Pharmacists' Defence Association is a company limited by guarantee. Registered in England; Company No 4746656.

The Pharmacists' Defence Association is an appointed representative in respect of insurance mediation activities only of
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and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Register No 307063)

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