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Pharmacist and Labour MP Taiwo Owatemi appointed APPG chair

Labour MP and pharmacist Taiwo Owatemi has been elected as the new chair of the All-Party Pharmacy Group (APPG).

Ms Owatemi – who continues to work as a pharmacist – has been working with the APPG since July 2020, when she was appointed as an officer while former health minister Jackie Doyle-Price was made the chair.

She has also been a member of the health and social care committee since March 2020.

The APPG announced her appointment as chair this afternoon (November 1).


Pharmacies play “vital role”


In a statement published on Twitter, Ms Owatemi – who has served as an MP for Coventry North West since 2019 – revealed she was “delighted” by the appointment.

“As an NHS cancer pharmacist, I look forward to continuing to work with colleagues across Parliament to promote the vital role that pharmacies and pharmacists play in delivering healthcare in Britain,” she added.

Launched in 1999, the APPG is supported with funding from the Association of Independent Multiple Pharmacies, the Company Chemists’ Association, the National Pharmacy Association, the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS).

Ms Owatemi's election as chair also saw the appointment of six new committee officers. Among the five new vice-chairs are Derek Thomas, MP for St Ives; Sir George Howarth, MP for Knowsley; Peter Dowd, MP for Bootle; Baroness Meacher and Lord Clement-Jones.

Elliot Colburn, MP for Carshalton and Wallington – who last month criticised the government for the way community pharmacy is funded at the Conservative Party Conference – was also elected an APPG officer.

Last year, the General Pharmaceutical Council, Pharmacists’ Defence Association and the RPS criticised a satirical article on the political blogsite Guido Fawkes for portraying Ms Owatemi as a drug dealer, after she revealed she had been working as a locum pharmacist “on an ad hoc basis, as required”, in her declaration of employment and earnings.

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