The National Pharmacy Association (NPA) and the Independent Pharmacy Federation (IPF) are merging to become a single national membership body for independent community pharmacies in the UK, the two organisations announced on 24 March 2015.
The decision to merge was influenced by the NPA’s move in 2013 to represent only independent pharmacies and independent multiples, and the creation in 2010 of the community pharmacy campaign group, Pharmacy Voice.
It also comes nearly two years after the two organisations jointly launched their ‘Manifesto for independent community pharmacy’, which spelt out their vision for the future.
“Since the NPA restricted its membership to independents only, it has been right that we look at how we work closer with them,” says IPF chairman and founder member Fin McCaul.
NPA chairman Ian Strachan describes the merger as “a natural development”.
IPF chief executive Claire Ward says the IPF has made a “significant” contribution to raising the profile of independent pharmacy but that the time has come to “work even smarter and not duplicate resources”.
“We know that independents appreciate what we do and how we do it,” says Ward. “We also know that strength for independents will come from having one membership body for independents.”
The merger coincides with the announcement that Ward is to leave the IPF to become chair of Pharmacy Voice on 1 April 2015.