There has been an increase in the proportion of pharmacists who are from a black or minority ethnic background or who are female, but a fall in the number of pharmacists who qualified overseas, according to a new analysis of the register of pharmacists in Great Britain.
The analysis, commissioned by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC), found there has been a 5% increase in the number of pharmacists from a black or minority ethnic background on the register between 2010 and 2011, from 34% to 39%.
Pharmacists from Asian backgrounds now represent over a quarter of pharmacists (27%), with pharmacists from black, Chinese, and other minority ethnic communities representing a further 12%. The GPhC predicts this upward trend is likely to continue, as just under 70% of new entrants to the register in 2011 were from a black or minority ethnic background.
The proportion of pharmacists who are female is also continuing to grow steadily year on year, with female pharmacists now making up 59% of the register. Male pharmacists are particularly under-represented in Scotland, where they make up only 30% of pharmacists.
The study also found that the number of overseas-qualified pharmacists on the register in 2011 has fallen by 670 compared with 2010, from 6130 (12.1%) to 5460 (11.8% of the register).
The analysis was carried out for the General Pharmaceutical Council by the Centre for Pharmacy Workforce Studies at the University of Manchester’s School for Pharmacy.
It also revealed the total number of pharmacists on the register decreased by 8.6% from 50,664 to 46,310 between 2010 and 2011. This was mainly caused by the closure of the non-practising register when the GPhC took over the regulatory functions in 2010.
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