Community Pharmacy England, Company Chemists Association, and the National Pharmacy Association have all expressed their disappointment at a recent press statement made by Dr Leyla Hannbeck, Chief Executive of the Association of Independent Multiple Pharmacies.
The CPE, CCA and NPA refuted AIMp’s claim that pharmacy bodies operate independently, emphasising the importance of employing various channels and strategies to shape public policy.
“It makes sense to use a variety of channels and tactics to influence public policy,” NPA, CPE and CCA said in a joint statement issued on Wednesday (August 13). “Limiting our work to just one Parliamentary channel would be naive and do a disservice to pharmacy owners.”
On Aug. 12, AIMp highlighted that a lack of cohesion was one of the contributing factors to the sector’s difficulty in gaining wider attention.
Dr. Hannbeck argued that it’s counterproductive for each pharmacy organisation to maintain its own manifesto, essentially a lengthy wish-list that is often unrealistic and unattainable. “This can conveniently allow those in power to easily employ a divide-and-conquer strategy,” she said.
Dr. Hannbeck mentioned that the “Save Our Pharmacies” campaign “failed to make a significant impact” and recommended its relaunch by pharmacy bodies through the All Party Pharmacy Group (APPG).
However, CPE, CCA and NPA countered her assertions, emphasising that they maintain a close collaborative effort in influencing both Government and NHS policy through all available channels, with the aim of securing the best possible outcomes for the sector.
“This included our collective efforts to shape the primary care recovery plan, which is set to infuse essential investment into community pharmacy,” they said. “We also stand behind the initiatives of the pharmacy APPG since its inception in parliament.”
While addressing AIMp’s statement, the three organisations emphasised their collaborative capacity, acknowledging that as distinct entities, they may not always share identical perspectives on matters.
They criticised Dr Hannbeck and AIMp for resorting to the media to advocate for unity in the sector instead of engaging in direct dialogue with them.
“We believe that successful collaboration, both within the sector and with external stakeholders, is attained through maintaining open lines of communication and cultivating trusted relationships,” the NPA, CPE, and CCA added in their joint statement.
Meanwhile, parliamentarians are set to engage in a crucial debate concerning the future of community pharmacies on Thursday (September 14). This conversation comes at a pivotal juncture, with pharmacies confronting unprecedented challenges such as workforce concerns, medicine supply, and financial pressures.