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Matt Hancock talks French pharmacy model with nation's health minister

Mr Hancock (centre front, right) and French health minister Agnès Buzyn (centre front, left) last week
Mr Hancock (centre front, right) and French health minister Agnès Buzyn (centre front, left) last week

Health secretary Matt Hancock’s interest in the French community pharmacy model remains undimmed, he has revealed to C+D.

Mr Hancock talked about the country’s pharmacies with his “French counterpart”, Agnès Buzyn, “only last week”, he told C+D on Twitter yesterday.

The two met at the G7 meeting of health ministers in Paris on May 16-17, with the stated aim of discussing antimicrobial resistance, how to increase vaccination rates and tackling Ebola.

C+D has asked both Mr Hancock himself and the Department for Health and Social Care (DH) for more details about the pharmacy discussions that took place, and whether they will impact policy in the UK.

Why does Mr Hancock admire French pharmacies?

C+D exclusively revealed last year that Mr Hancock wants to “move towards the French model for pharmacies, where they do more”.

He later told parliament he looks to the French model for inspiration on “keeping people out of hospital and in supporting GP surgeries by doing more”.

Expanding on Mr Hancock’s original comments, the DH told C+D last year that pharmacies on the continent offer a wider range of services to the community.

To find out more about this model, C+D editor James Waldron will be talking to Anne-Hélène Lebec – former chief executive of the 1,300-strong pharmacy network Giphar France, and now a consultant for the sector – in front of an audience at the PharmacyForum conference in June.

Read 10 facts about the French model of community pharmacy.

What do you think about Matt Hancock's interest in French pharmacies?

Angry Pharmacist, Community pharmacist

Doing more!?!? For goodness sake I come home everyday with backpain and an aching leg after working in an understaffed  pharmacy with ever increasing list of services ....forget all the work stress and targets put onto us. This guy needs to go and work in a UK pharmacy before talking rubbish!!

Allan Wilson, Community pharmacist

He would be better looking at the Scottish Community Pharmacy model

Peter Smith, Student

Not as nice for a little free holiday, though, is it?

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