Nitin Sodha, who stepped aside as the National Pharmacy Association (NPA) chairman last month following allegations of NHS price fixing at Lexon UK, where he is a director, has now left its board altogether.
The NPA announced that Sodha would leave the board after serving for 12 years, although it did not comment on the reasons for his departure.
He stepped aside as NPA chairman on June 3 after the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announced it was investigating allegations that Lexon UK, alongside Medreich, Alliance Pharma and Focus, colluded to increase the price of an anti-nausea drug to the NHS by 700%. A 50-tablet pack of prochlorperazine rose from £6.49 to £51.68 during the period under investigation.
In a separate more recent case, Lexon has been accused, along with three other companies (King Pharmaceuticals, Alissa and Auden Mckenzie) of breaking competition law.
NPA vice-chairman Andrew Lane, owner of the AlChem Pharmacy Group and chairman of Gloucestershire LPC, and who stepped in as chair after Sodha stepped aside, said: "We sincerely thank Nitin for the contribution he has made as a member of the NPA board for over a decade. As vice-chair of the Association for four years, he was part of the team highlighting the dangers of funding cuts to the pharmacy network.
"During that period he also chaired the NPA’s policy and practice committee, leading vital debates and shaping policy positions on issues like supervision, and hub and spoke. Most recently Nitin accepted responsibility for leading the Association as chair, during which time he argued consistently for the expansion of clinical services within community pharmacy as a way of delivering a more sustainable future for independents.
"He pioneered a new approach to taking Board meetings out of our headquarters to visit members, policy-makers and other stakeholders in all parts of the UK, to share best practice across the four nations. Nitin made a major contribution at a very challenging time for our members and we wish him well.”
Sodha said: "It has been a pleasure and privilege to work for so many years with NPA Board colleagues and staff to support independent pharmacies across the UK. I believe that, following a comprehensive review of strategy, the organisation is strengthened and is heading in the right direction.
"There is a clear focus on compelling solutions for members, a new system for identifying and developing potential business innovations and an emphasis on enhancing stakeholder relationships. We have also delivered changes to strengthen the NPA’s financial position for the future.”