Mr Burt addressed the conference in a recorded message (pictured below), two weeks after Pharmacy Voice announced that its split from the National Pharmacy Association (NPA) will force the lobbying group to disband. He said it “doesn’t help the [negotiating] process if ministers become aware of mixed views”.
During his time as minister, Mr Burt said he heard from “different voices” from community pharmacy on whether the sector’s funding structure needed updating.
“To be honest, I found that some agreed with this assessment, and some agreed more than others did.”
Rather than “shoot the messenger”, Mr Burt said pharmacists should “sort out” a representative organisation.
The position of the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee needs to be “confirmed”, so the government knows who it should deal with, he stressed.
In response to question from Avicenna CEO Salim Jetha on Mr Burt’s comments, NPA chair Ian Strachan said he is “not worried about a vacuum” following the disintegration of Pharmacy Voice.
“I’m more worried about having no policy, than having a bad policy,” Mr Strachan added.
Watch Mr Strachan’s explanation for the split from Pharmacy Voice – including his criticism of "cloak and dagger" pharmacy politics – below:
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