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Nitin Sodha leaves NPA board, a month after stepping down as chair

Nitin Sodha has left the board of the National Pharmacy Association (NPA), a month after he stood down as its chair.

Mr Sodha stepped down as chair on June 3 as the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) investigates allegations of collusion against a company in which he owns shares, wholesaler Lexon UK.

Since then, the CMA has made a second allegation against the wholesaler (see below).

The NPA announced yesterday afternoon (July 2) that Mr Sodha is leaving the board after 12 years, although it did not say whether this was linked to either CMA investigation.

NPA vice-chair Andrew Lane, who has taken on the duties of NPA chair for the past month, said the association “sincerely thanks Nitin for his contribution”.

“He pioneered a new approach to taking board meetings out of our headquarters to visit members, policy makers and other stakeholders in all parts of the UK, to share best practice across the four nations,” Mr Lane said.

“Nitin made a major contribution at a very challenging time for our members and we wish him well.”

Mr Sodha said: “It has been a pleasure and a privilege to work for so many years with NPA board colleagues and staff to support independent pharmacies across the UK.”

Read the full statements from Mr Lane and Mr Sodha.

The allegations against Lexon UK

The CMA alleged in May that Lexon UK, along with manufacturers Alliance Pharmaceuticals, Focus Pharmaceuticals and Medreich, broke the law by agreeing not to compete in the supply of anti-nausea drug prochlorperazine.

Their alleged agreement not to compete for the supply of prescription-only prochlorperazine 3mg buccal tablets led to prices for the NHS rising 700% over four years, the CMA claimed.

In June, the CMA alleged that manufacturer King Pharmaceuticals, along with wholesalers Alissa Healthcare and Lexon UK, exchanged commercially sensitive information, including on prices, volumes and “entry plans...to try to keep nortriptyline prices high”.

The CMA’s findings in both cases are provisional, the watchdog added, and the companies involved have the opportunity to make representations before it reaches a final decision.

Mr Sodha stressed to C+D last year that he currently has limited involvement with Lexon UK, and attends “maybe four” meetings a year.

What do you make of Mr Sodha's decision to leave the NPA board?

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