Michael Holden used the National Pharmacy Association's annual conference in London to hail what he described as “the reinvention” of the organisation as it attempts to firmly establish itself as the exclusive voice for independents.

Holden, the NPA chief executive, drew delegates' attention to the body's manifesto for the independent sector which is currently undergoing a nationwide consultation and, in a thinly veiled reference to the NPA's pledge earlier this year that the multiples would in no way influence board policy, said the organisation had gone through something of a transformation.

“The reinvention of the NPA has been a significant amount of work. The NPA has independents' interests at its heart. The manifesto gives us a clear mandate (which) we can take upstream to government and key stakeholders,” he said.

“It is not just a product but a process, a key piece of work for the whole independent sector. It's part of our contract with you. We want to help you not only work in your pharmacies but work on them to change them and adapt them.”

Stephen Fishwick, the NPA's head of external communications, confirmed to Pharmacy Business during the conference that Lloydspharmacy and Alliance Boots, the multiples who sat on the NPA board, had left and would have no influence on policy moving forward.

Holden, meanwhile, drew pharmacists' attention to the importance of Joint Strategic Needs Assessments as they attempt to earn an integral role in the public's healthcare.

“JSNAs are your market that tells you what your opportunities are for health and social care,” he said. “You should know that backwards and know what the health needs of your population are. That's your market. You may know your competition but if you don't know JSNAs, you don't know your market.”

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