Andrew Lansley has lost his post as Secretary of State for Health in a cabinet reshuffle, with Jeremy Hunt appointed as his successor.
Mr Lansley, who took the post of health secretary in 2010 and implemented a series of controversial NHS reforms, is to become Leader of the House of Commons.
Mr Hunt was previously Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport.
Independent Pharmacy Federation chief executive Claire Ward hit out at the decision to oust Mr Lansley as the NHS reforms started to take shape.
"My initial reaction is one of surprise that he has spent the past two years taking the NHS, throwing it into small pieces and seeing how it re-assembles, with pharmacy not at the core of these changes as we would like it to be," she argued.
"Now he's been shifted, that doesn't give us great confidence in what's happening in the future." But Mike Dixon, chair of NHS Alliance and a GP in Cullompton, Devon, said he thought Andrew Lansley would be missed. "He was a man of great integrity, someone you could trust and he stuck to his guns," Dr Dixon told C+D. "I hope it won't slow down the reforms and that they'll press ahead."