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Knights Pharmacy managing director appointed NPA chairman

Mr Sodha is also director of independent wholesaler Lexon UK
Mr Sodha is also director of independent wholesaler Lexon UK

Knights Pharmacy managing director Nitin Sodha has been appointed chairman of the National Pharmacy Association (NPA), C+D has learned from a member of the NPA board.

Mr Sodha, who is also director of independent wholesaler Lexon UK, will replace Ian Strachan, who steps down from the chairman role this year having completed his four-year term.

Mr Sodha qualified as a pharmacist in 1981 and has previously worked for Boots. He has been managing director of Knights Pharmacy – which operates over 50 pharmacies across England – since it was founded in 1984.

He was first elected to the NPA board in 2007, representing members in the West Midlands, and was appointed vice chairman in 2014. He also serves as chair of Worcester local pharmaceutical committee.

Mr Sodha said: “It is an honour to be chosen to chair an organisation so central to the history and the future of independent community pharmacy. After four years as vice chair, I look forward to continuing to work hard, with my board colleagues and the NPA staff, in the interests of independent pharmacies and the patients they serve.”

Mr Strachan, whose four-year term as chair ended earlier this month, added: “I am handing the baton over to an experienced colleague, who is passionate about community pharmacy, as are we all on this board. 

“These are challenging times for the sector, but the new chair, myself and the entire board are ready to play our part in helping independents take the journey of change that is necessary.”  

AlChem Pharmacy owner Andrew Lane was elected vice chair, while MediCare Pharmacy superintendent Michael Guerin continues as treasurer, the NPA added.  

What do you make of Mr Soda's appointment?

A LOCUM, Community pharmacist

having had the pleasure of actually meeting and knowing nitin i can honestly say what a genuine hard working caring man he is , the NPA can only thrive with his leadership (just like his business ) congrats nitin i'm sure you (unlike your predecessors )will do our industry proud and ignore those ,who judge you when they dont even know you !

L H, Community pharmacist

Fair enough.  Keeping an open mind but the visuals compared to what the NPA means to the diminishing single independent pharmacies has to be acknowledged. I also hope he represents those of us whose only hope IS the NPA.  It's just that owning a chain AND a wholesaler he's already coming from behind and will need to tread carefully to earn trust.  Cannot deny the conflicts of interests but that doesn't mean he can't rise to the challenge.  We wish him our future depends on it. 


A Hussain, Senior Management

This is concerning.  I think that you need astute people on the board, but wholesalers are a massive problem to community pharmacies right now, so to have Mr Sodha as chairman is another slap in the face.  Even the most honest person finds it hard to avoid a conflict if the conflict is built in to who they are.

Ben Merriman, Community pharmacist

Given the current situation re: the number of price concessions/stock shortages and rumours of deliberate manipulation of stock plentiful, is it OK for me to feel a little uneasy about the appointment of the director of a wholesaler to the position of NPA chairman?

L H, Community pharmacist

The NPA were the one small hope I had to help slow the rot.  No offence to Mr Sodha, but the appointment of the director of a decent sized chain (50+ stores) and currently director of a wholesaler that had a turnover of more than 200 million in 2016/17 doesn't make me feel like someone's fighting in my corner (a small single pharmacy fighting for survival).  Hats off to Mike Hewitson for taking a stand on this.  A sincere thanks for your efforts for us little people.

Clarke Kent, Community pharmacist

That’s a really good point. I hadn’t even considered that when reading the article. Hmmm...

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