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C+D reveals new columnist - and regular column 'Political Pills'

Fresh from the corridors of power, a new monthly columnist has joined C+D

With TV debates and internal splits adding spice to the race for Number 10, former pharmacy minister Steve Brine has joined C+D as a regular columnist.

Brine arrives direct from chairing the health and social care committee’s (HSCC) pharmacy inquiry report, the findings of which were released last week

“I am delighted to be joining the C&D team and contributing to the debate in one of the most important areas of healthcare right now,” he said. “I look forward to readers feedback as well!”

Brine’s column, Political Pills, will debut next week with the inside story behind the pharmacy report.

Last week, C+D launched its first exclusive election tracker poll, vote in week two here.

C+D editor-in-chief James Halliwell said C+D readers could look forward to Brine delivering “insight into the political processes and decisions which have shaped community pharmacy in recent decades.

“Right now, Steve Brine offers sharp insight into what the future holds for pharmacy from a political perspective, even if the headline might be ‘Unpredictability Awaits’. Our readers are going to benefit from his experience, wisdom and political acumen.”

Read more: 2015: Almost half of pharmacists will vote Conservative

Last week, pharmacy minister Andrea Leadsom announced she would not contest her seat at the next election. She was the ninth pharmacy minister since March 2019, following Brine’s resignation.

Dame Andrea was appointed in November last year after the previous pharmacy minister Neil O’Brien resigned to “focus 100%” on his constituency after only one year in the role.  

In March, Dame Andrea said that the community pharmacy sector “continues to be a thriving market” adding “things change” and asserting that “access remains good” despite “almost 400” net closures since the start of the 2023/24 financial year.

Read more: ‘Thriving market’: Minister upbeat about community pharmacy despite closures

Her comments provoked the CPE to write to Brine in his role as HSCC chair to say that it was “very concerned to hear statements…suggesting that the community pharmacy network is thriving”.

This week the CPE confirmed there would be no new deal until after the election - when negotiations will resume with what is likely to be new negotiating leads around the table. 

Read more: General election: The pharmacist vs the Tory GP grandee

Last week, C+D launched its first exclusive election tracker poll, which revealed Labour ahead among C+D’s readers.

You can vote in week two here.

In week one, Labour was preferred by 43% of the 373 respondents. A Conservative government was the least popular, gaining 14%.

“Other” was preferred by 16% of C+D’s audience. Undecided voters accounted for 27%.

Brine became MP for Winchester and Chandler’s Ford in 2010, before becoming pharmacy minister in 2017, replacing David Mowat.

He resigned from Theresa May’s government over Brexit.








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