New pharmacy minister Maggie Throup MP. Image courtesy: maggiethroup.com

Maggie Throup, the Conservative Party MP for Erewash, is the new minister with responsibility for pharmacy.

She was appointed parliamentary under secretary of state for Prevention, Public Health and Primary Care on Thursday (September 16) following a cabinet reshuffle by prime minister Boris Johnson which saw her predecessor Jo Churchill moved to Defra.

“Honoured to have been appointed public health minister at such a critical moment for our country as we begin the huge task of building back better from the pandemic,” Throup announced on Twitter following confirmation of her appointment which will also see her assume the responsibility of vaccine deployment after the minister in charge, Nadhim Zawahi, was elevated as education secretary during the same reshuffle.

The new pharmacy minister tweeted that she can’t wait to get stuck into her new portfolio, rolling out the Covid vaccine booster programme and supporting prime minister Johnson and health secretary Sajid Javid “to deliver lasting reforms to health and social care.”

The UK government announced on September 14 that some 30 million people were likely to be offered a third dose of Covid-19 vaccine, six months after their second dose as part of a booster programme.

Throup, a former government whip and a scientist by training, entered parliament in 2015 at the third time of trying.

Born on 27 January 1957 in Shipley, West Yorkshire, she went to a girls’ grammar school in Bradford and studied biology at university before beginning her career at Calderdale Health Authority as a medical laboratory scientist. She moved into medical diagnostics sales and marketing with a pharmaceutical company before setting up her own consultancy business.

According to her website, Throup supports the wider use of diagnostic testing in order to reduce the amount of antibiotics that are wrongly prescribed. She is also credited for the establishment of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Obesity which she chairs.

In 2015, Throup was elected to serve on the House of Commons Health Select Committee, and has also previously served on the Scottish Affairs Select Committee.

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