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NPA board member resigns in protest at chair's wholesaler credentials

Mike Hewitson has resigned from the National Pharmacy Association (NPA) board in protest at the appointment of a wholesaler director as chair.

In a statement (see below) posted on Twitter yesterday (April 23), Mr Hewitson said that following the appointment of Nitin Sodha – who is director of independent wholesaler Lexon UK as well as managing director of the Knights Pharmacy chain – as chair, he is “no longer able to contribute to the leadership of the organisation on principle”.

“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 added in the statement that it had been “the greatest privilege of my professional career” to serve on the board and he “would like to pay tribute to [members'] dedication and commitment on behalf of the sector”.

“I like Nitin personally”

Speaking to C+D this morning, Mr Hewitson revealed he had been the other candidate for NPA chair, and stressed that Mr Sodha “is a man I like personally a lot”.

“He is a gentleman, he’s very humble,” he added. “The issue of wholesaler conflict is nothing personal against him; I don’t bear him any malice.”

“I’m not interested in status, it’s about making a difference to members at a critical time.”

Mr Hewitson, who owns Beaminster Pharmacy in Dorset, also told C+D he is “not looking to stay in pharmacy politics”. “I’m going off to do something different with my life.”

NPA “very sorry” about departure

The NPA said it is “very sorry indeed that Mike Hewitson has felt it necessary to leave the NPA board after eight years of exemplary service”.

“His contribution over that time was immensely valuable to the NPA and to the independent pharmacy sector we all feel so passionately about.”

The Twitter reaction

What do you make of Mr Hewitson's decision?

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