Pharmaceutical industry leaders praise community pharmacy teams for their bravery amidst unprecedented times in a world thrown into turmoil by a global pandemic…

Reflect on an exceptional year: Julian Mount

Community pharmacy continues to demonstrate its care for patients and incredible hard work during the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. I have no doubt that this quite remarkable spirit and dedication to the NHS and patients across the UK will continue in partnership with how Alliance Healthcare has stood shoulder to shoulder with community pharmacy throughout this challenging period.

Julian Mount

Diwali is a wonderful occasion for community pharmacists and their teams to take a moment to focus on their loved ones, and to reflect on the exceptional year that has passed. Although we expect this year’s Diwali celebrations to be held in an unfamiliar way, let’s remember to share the moment in a safe but enjoyable manner.

At Alliance Healthcare we will recognise Diwali with a special ‘Lunch and Learn’, streamed live across our delivery network, and will share celebration stories and photos from our team of over 5,500 colleagues.

Community pharmacy will continue to play a vital role in the 12 months ahead, as we progress treatments and vaccines for Covid-19. I would like to thank you for all of your remarkable efforts in this fight against Covid-19 and for the care you show for your patients.

Please continue to protect colleagues and share my sincere appreciation for everything your teams do to help the NHS across the UK. I wish you all the best for the year ahead and a very special Diwali with friends, family and love ones.

Julian Mount is managing director at Alliance Healthcare.


Harbinger of new hope: Pete Kelly

Accord would like to take the opportunity presented by this festive season to thank the pharmacists and their teams, plus everyone working tirelessly across the healthcare industry, in the fight against Covid-19.

Pete Kelly MD Accord UK

In addition, we would like to extend a very big thank you to the members of our Accord family and everyone within the wider supply chain who work every day behind the scenes to ensure a consistent supply of medicines for the patients that need them.

Accord is proud to be part of the healthcare community that is doing so much to make it better every day for millions of people in the UK. We embrace the part we play and pledge to continue to support our customers and patients during these difficult times by thinking differently and coming up with new and innovative solutions to further support and embed our mission of providing high quality, affordable medicines to patients.

Best wishes from Accord during this festival of Diwali that marks new beginnings. Let it bring with it new opportunities – to tackle Covid-19 together and make it better for people everywhere. Happy Diwali from everyone at Accord!

Pete Kelly is Managing Director, Accord UK.


Incredibly proud of you: Kim Innes

Diwali should be a time to connect and celebrate with family and friends, and it’s a shame that this year it will be taking place under testing circumstances with COVID-19. It’s been a tough year, so I hope you take the opportunity to spend some quality time with your loved ones over this period.

Kim Innes

The role you’ve all played on the frontlines of this pandemic has been incredible. Your commitment and dedication has truly been a shining light during these difficult times – our communities and patients really depend on you, and you should all be incredibly proud of the contribution you’ve made to the efforts to keep people safe and healthy.

On behalf of all of us at Teva UK, I’d like to wish pharmacists and their teams up and down the country a very happy and prosperous Diwali. Shubh Deepavali!

Kim Innes is general manager, Teva UK & Ireland.


Pharmacy is a beacon to healthcare: Toby Anderson

Diwali is an important festival for many of our colleagues, patients and customers. It symbolises new beginnings, and light after darkness. This year, more than ever, that’s incredibly significant.

Toby Anderson

Covid-19 has cast a shadow over the world this year and as a global healthcare company, McKesson has been more involved that most, playing a key part in supporting the healthcare industry across the world to care for those directly affected.

Closer to home, if I were to think about the ‘shining light’ in 2020, then it is most definitely the incredible people who work for McKesson UK. Our LloydsPharmacy teams in both community settings and acute settings such as hospitals, have been open throughout, providing support to families needing advice and care.

Our AAH distribution centres have managed unprecedented demand getting PPE and medicines to those caring for the sick in hospitals, care homes and pharmacies across the UK. Our LloydsPharmacy Clinical Homecare colleagues have ensured that some of our most vulnerable get their essential, often life-saving care in their homes and Echo has ensured the vulnerable and shielded get their repeat medicines delivered free to their door. This year, the importance of pharmacy to the overall healthcare picture has shone like a beacon. Happy Diwali!

Toby Anderson is CEO, McKesson UK.


Pharmacy represents spirit of Diwali: Bharti Patel

We are in the midst of unprecedented times in a world that has been thrown into turmoil by the Covid-19 global pandemic. Through these difficult times, I have witnessed, at first hand, the mobilisation of all that is good in our fellow human beings. Some, including our pharmacy colleagues have gone to extraordinary lengths to reach out to those in need, offering to help them in any way they can. I have been humbled by such acts of selflessness.

Bharti Patel

Diwali is all about the triumph of good over evil and light over darkness. For me:

  • It’s about togetherness and being there for our loved ones, our communities, our society and our nation.
  • It’s about being grateful for all that we have and to all those who have contributed to our successes.
  • It’s about honouring and respecting our elders and taking time to listen to their wisdom.
  • But most of all, it’s about hope for the future.

There is nothing more representative of the spirit of Diwali than our independent pharmacy sector, which sits at the heart of diverse communities and dedicates itself to the wellbeing of its local populations.

Throughout the pandemic, independent pharmacy has stepped up, adapted and demonstrated its critical role within the primary care networks. It has overcome the overwhelming operational challenges through strong leadership, agility, resourcefulness, courage, resilience and application of sound clinical judgement and thus ensured the continuity of medicines management and patient care.

As we all celebrate Diwali, we should all stand back, take pride in what we have achieved as pharmacy teams and celebrate our successes, for they are truly remarkable.

Going into the New Year, lets harness all that we have learnt, continue to adapt and strengthen our capabilities as we take on an expanded role in the heart of primary care networks and come to prominence as a beacon of excellence in the provision of accessible national and local healthcare services in the new ‘normal’.

On behalf of everyone at Avicenna, I wish you all a Happy Diwali and best wishes for the year ahead.

Bharti Patel is managing director at Avicenna.


Shining light on communities: Jeremy Meader

The Festival of Lights is a time to celebrate light over darkness. Never seemingly more  fitting as we continue to battle the Covid-19 pandemic around the globe and recognise the importance of our community pharmacies.

Jeremy Meader

Over the last six months, local community pharmacy has proved its value as the ‘third pillar’ in our national healthcare delivery service alongside hospitals and GPs. When access to the latter was understandably restricted, community pharmacies kept their doors open providing not only medication, but also trusted professional healthcare support and advice. Pharmacy has genuinely stepped forward as others stepped back, taking even greater responsibility for shining light on their local communities in the darkest of days.

Now, more than ever, exists a unique opportunity to improve patient access to healthcare and pioneer illness prevention, chronic condition management, testing, triage, wellbeing advice and support through community pharmacy, as a trusted partner with local GP practices helping to reduce the strain on surgeries and A&E departments.

The healthcare challenges facing our nation are daunting. Pharmacies up and down the country have excelled this year and genuinely been a beacon of light, so I trust this year’s festival will, under exceptionally challenging circumstances, enable that to be both recognised and celebrated.

My very best wishes for Diwali and for what I’m sure we are all praying for, an end to the darkness of this dreadful pandemic and the hope and belief that the new year will bring the light we all are seeking.

Jeremy Meader is managing director at Numark.


Fantastic contribution to health: Jeremy Main

At this special time of year for me it is important to pause and recognise the incredible commitment of all the teams involved in the supply of medicines to patients up and down the country.

Jeremy Main

As usual the levels of commitment, dedication and care have been extraordinary, working in a totally new environment and an in the face of unprecedented set of challenges.

With a striking lack of support and forward planning from government, wholesalers and pharmacists alike have demonstrated huge resilience and flexibility – stepping straight up to the plate and supporting warehouse and pharmacy colleagues and patients in the most difficult of circumstances.

There are many, many examples of individual team members going way above and beyond the call of duty – contributing massively to the well-being of their patients and local communities –consistently working long, hard days and nights.

Very sadly the huge effort and pivotal role of community pharmacy in treating and caring for millions of patients is not recognised as it should be, and we sincerely hope that in the coming years this attitude will change.

So at this moment of hope – and as we face into an extremely difficult winter – we salute all of you for your extraordinary commitment and dedication. And for the future we live in hope that this resilient and dedicated backbone of the NHS will be recognised for its fantastic contribution to the health and wellbeing of patients and communities up and down the country – properly funded, recognised, rewarded and supported!

Jeremy Main is chairman at the Healthcare Distribution Association.


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