Pharmacy Voice, the lobbying group and trade association that represents community pharmacy in England, has revealed that it will disband following the National Pharmacy Association’s (NPA) decision to leave.
In December 2016, the NPA, which represents independent pharmacies, said it would not continue to fund Pharmacy Voice beyond the end of 2017
At the time, Ian Strachan, chair of the NPA, said the association wanted a simpler structure for community pharmacy representation and that the “independent sector must be able to make its own voice heard distinctively and powerfully”.
Then, on 2 February 2017, Pharmacy Voice said that its constitution means that it cannot continue with the remaining two members alone. These members comprise the Company Chemists’ Association, which represents large pharmacy chains, such as Boots and Lloydspharmacy; and the Association of Independent Multiple Pharmacies, which represents smaller pharmacy chains.
A spokesperson for Pharmacy Voice says: “The constitution of Pharmacy Voice requires that if one member association gives notice to leave, the organisation cannot continue. It is therefore not possible for PV to continue with the remaining member associations.” They added that the NPA has given the 12 months’ notice required and that the association’s work would continue until then.
The spokesperson also says that the Pharmacy Voice board will be reviewing plans to help ensure the continuation of its work, particularly with regards to the ‘Community pharmacy forward view’, which was published on 30 August 2016 and produced in collaboration with the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee, a body that represents pharmacy contractors, and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, the professional leadership body for pharmacists.
“Changes will be implemented in an organised and timely fashion that is respectful of committed staff, recognises the need to fulfil outstanding projects and embeds a positive legacy,” they add.