Split from Pharmacy Voice 'flies in the face of unity'
The proposed split of the National Pharmacy Association from Pharmacy Voice from 2018 is a disappointing and a backward step for the sector, Numarkâ€™s John Dâ€™Arcy has said in response to the recent announcement.
â€œIf ever there was a time for togetherness in pharmacy it is nowâ€, commented Mr Dâ€™Arcy, managing director of the organisation for independent pharmacy. â€œWe need one powerful body shouting up for us.â€
â€œThe NPAâ€™s decision flies in the face of pharmacy unity, and as such must be seen as a poorly timed retrograde step.â€
It is unlikely that the community pharmacy sector can now achieve just â€œone voiceâ€, he suggested. â€œIâ€™d say if it was ever going to happen it would have been with Pharmacy Voice.â€
And it is currently difficult to see how Pharmacy Voice could survive without the support of one of its key partners, questioned Mr Dâ€™Arcy.
â€œThe demise of Pharmacy Voice would see a return to the all too familiar days of fragmentation within pharmacy and associated mixed messages.â€
The move could weaken community pharmacyâ€™s voice, he said, at a time when clear thinking and strong leadership is needed in the face of many challenges from government.
â€œCommunity pharmacy has historically suffered from fragmentation and the lack of a coherent voice. Pharmacy Voice â€“ as a confederation â€“ provided the opportunity of a single voice for community pharmacy in England whilst retaining the identities of constituent organisations.â€
He praised â€œconsiderable progressâ€ from Pharmacy Voice this year with the Community Pharmacy Forward View proposals, but said that these are â€œbeing ignoredâ€ by the Department of Health.
Community pharmacy leadership probably now needs â€œa complete overhaul,â€ he suggested. â€œThis doesnâ€™t look to me like the radical restructure thatâ€™s perhaps needed.â€
Numark will continue to champion the cause of independent pharmacy, he said. â€œWe will speak where we think itâ€™s appropriate, though itâ€™s better for us to speak through an existing body. I thought Pharmacy Voice was good. Everything sat under one umbrella; you had one message and everyone supported it.â€
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