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”.
Honestly nobody would believe a word of the story behind this statement if I wrote it. Sadly this much and more is true. pic.twitter.com/kcE9hGIRG4— Mike Hewitson (@MikeHewitson1) April 23, 2018
“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
Sorry to hear that my colleague + friend @MikeHewitson1 has resigned from the @NPA1921 board today. He has been incredibly devoted to representing independent owners over the last 8yrs, his big brain will be missed. Enjoy more time to focus on your family, business & a big thanks— James Wood (@JamesWWood) April 23, 2018
I have cascaded your sad announcement to the PCPA Community Pharmacy group. I fully understand your principles.— Helen Kilminster (@HPILLminster) April 23, 2018
I hope this announcement makes people reflect on their values & purpose for our profession
Massive loss to NPA!— Chris Maguire (@chris_magz) April 23, 2018
Your dedication and passion is clearly matched by your integrity. Sorry to see you go— Ross Ferguson MRPharmS (@rosshferguson) April 23, 2018
I’m really sorry to read this. Shows clearly your integrity and passion for the profession. Standing up for what you believe is right for the members - wish more would do this— Dr Mahendra G Patel (@drmahendrapatel) April 23, 2018
Your steatement shows your passion for the profession. You will be missed by @NPA1921 but I’m sure your voice will continue to be heard advocating for pharmacy— Ash Soni (@ashsoni0607) April 23, 2018
Really sad about your resignation, but happy that people with ethics still exist! @NPA1921— Rifat Asghar-Hussain (@reeyah1) April 23, 2018
I’m sorry you felt you couldn’t stay and keep trying to make the changes needed. It is always an uphill struggle, usually thankless and sometimes demoralising but I hope you’ll be back soon. You are an asset and a good man— Sultan 'SID' Dajani (@SIDajani) April 24, 2018
I've not been qualifiee long however, long enough to know that ethics, morals and integrity are dying fast in healthcare for whatever reason. I'm glad to see yours still exist & judging by thr comments your work has really added value. I wish you all the very best.— Mr PhaRxmacist (@MrPharxmacist) April 23, 2018
As an ex NPA employee .. could u have remained and been an exemplar agitator??— Billy Templeton (@billytemps) April 24, 2018