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NPA chair: No conflict between 'independent' wholesalers and pharmacy

There is “no conflict” between “independent” wholesalers and pharmacies, the National Pharmacy Association (NPA) chair has said in response to claims from a former board member.

Dorset contractor Mike Hewitson resigned from the NPA board in April in protest over the appointment of Nitin Sodha – who is managing director of Knights Chemist chain and non-executive director of wholesaler Lexon UK – as chair.

“At a time when NPA members face an existential battle for survival, made more difficult by the behaviours of wholesalers, large and small, this represents an insoluble conflict of interest,” Mr Hewitson said in a statement posted on Twitter.

Speaking to C+D in a wide-ranging interview in May, Mr Sodha stressed he has limited involvement with Lexon UK.

“I used to chair [Lexon UK] up until two years ago, and now I attend meetings as and when – maybe four in a year – and that is it,” he told C+D.

“A lot of wholesalers support independent [pharmacies], and most independent wholesalers actually provide value,” Mr Sodha added.

“They provide a competitive market in this industry, and they would not exist if they were not providing the right service and competitiveness. So there is no conflict.”

Mr Sodha insisted his involvement with Lexon UK will not interfere with his NPA role, or his management of the Knights Chemist chain.

Read C+D’s exclusive interview with Mr Sodha here.

What do you make of Mr Sodha's comments?

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