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Representatives of biggest chains meet minister for first time

The meeting was very constructive, according to the CCA
The meeting was very constructive, according to the CCA

The representatives of the biggest pharmacy chains met with the pharmacy minister for the first time last week.

The Company Chemists’ Association (CCA) – which represents Boots, Lloydspharmacy, Well, Rowlands and Superdrug, as well as the pharmacy arms of Morrisons, Tesco and Asda – met Steve Brine MP on March 6.

The meeting went “very well”, the CCA told C+D, and offered an opportunity for the organisation’s new chief executive – former Boots senior manager Malcolm Harrison – to meet the minister.

“Malcolm is very keen to meet with stakeholders from across the pharmacy and healthcare sectors, so that he can understand their views on where the challenges and opportunities lie for both our organisation and the sector as a whole,” the CCA said.

“As well as discussing the role of the CCA and its members within primary care, Malcolm and the minister talked about the minister’s vision for the future of primary care and disease prevention.”

“The meeting was very constructive and we look forward to working with the minster and his team in future,” the organisation added.

Mr Brine tweeted after the event that it had been “excellent” to meet CCA representatives. “Thank you for all you do,” he added.

The Department of Health and Social Care told C+D it could not comment on what was discussed in the “closed meeting”.

The CCA was represented by Pharmacy Voice, until the body dissolved in 2017 following the National Pharmacy Association’s decision to pull out.

What questions would you like to ask Steve Brine?

Locum Pharmacist, Locum pharmacist

Pretty much all these organisations are known for understaffing pharmacies to save money and pushing pharmacists to provide services. Boots in particular have received a great deal of negative publicity regarding pushing MURs and placing pharmacists under pressure.

Yet the DoH chose to hold a meeting concerning the future of pharmacy with these organizations. Peas in a pod comes to mind.

Locum Pharmacist, Locum pharmacist

The multiples having a closed meeting with DoH. Doesn't sound ominous at all. Perhaps they were suggesting early retirement for, you know, all pharmacists? Seems the NPA and PDA were not invited.

Jonny Johal, Pharmacy Area manager/ Operations Manager

I am afraid I don't see this as a positive move at all ... like the meetings the GPhC had with the superintendents of the big multiples when the RPSGB was being split up. I see pharmacy as more than the sum total of these CCA reps.*

*This comment has been edited to comply with C+D's community principles*

Barry Pharmacist, Community pharmacist

Hope they asked when we might get an agreement on a fair funding settlement for 18/19? Trouble is what is fair for the CCA isn't fair for independents.

Dave Downham, Manager


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