Pharmacists have a duty to support drug manufacturers and "get behind" their products, Alliance Healthcare chairman Mike Smith has argued.
Manufacturers would reciprocate by supporting pharmacists to develop services, Mr Smith said at a conference for Alliance's independent support group Alphega in Monaco on November 29.
"I think it's really important that we accept and acknowledge that support, and do all we can to make the very most of it," said Mr Smith, who described Alphega's success as "very closely linked" to manufacturers and suppliers.
"This is about partnership. That is what has enabled the development of Alphega," Mr Smith stressed.
|Supporting manufacturers would result in their reciprocating by developing services, said Alliance Healthcare chairman Mike Smith|| |
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Leading manufacturers at the conference, including Johnson & Johnson, Novartis, Sandoz and Mylan, pledged to help Alphega members deliver services if they continued to receive their support.
Nick Haggar, head of commercial operations at Sandoz, said working together would create "significant" opportunities. Sandoz had helped European pharmacists develop services in areas such as hypertension and osteoporosis, he told the conference.
"It's tremendously important we help you not only offer services but also receive appropriate reimbursement," Mr Haggar said. "So, as a clear commitment from us to you, we'd love to help you develop more services."
The pledge was echoed by Johnson & Johnson, which offered to back pharmacists in areas of shared interest.
"I think the responsibility of companies such as Johnson & Johnson is to do everything we can to help you in the areas where we also provide services and products. We need to work in two-way communication so we can share that education together," said Carl Dempsey, regional vice-president of customer development for the EMEA region, Johnson & Johnson.
Generic manufacturer Mylan stressed that, if Alphega pharmacists gave their support to the company, it would make sure to provide them with the "best range of products and services".
The Alphega conference took place in Monaco on November 28 and 29. Alphega currently has more than 4,700 members in six countries, with 1,000 pharmacies in the UK.
Do you think supporting manufacturers could result in more pharmacy services?