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Pharmacy2U reveals it is keen to join the NPA

Pharmacy2U: We hope to meet NPA chair and clarify any misunderstandings about how we operate

Pharmacy2U is keen to talk to the National Pharmacy Association (NPA) about whether online pharmacies such as itself can be included in the organisation, C+D has learned.

Following the publication of C+D’s interview with Nitin Sodha earlier this month – in which the NPA chair raised concerns about pharmacies “picking up the pieces” if Pharmacy2U suffered a repeat of its Christmas 2015 delivery failure – the company said it hopes to secure a meeting with Mr Sodha.

“We welcome the appointment of the new NPA chair and hope we can meet up and clarify any misunderstandings and explain how Pharmacy2U operates, its purpose and its role in modern pharmacy,” the company told C+D last week (July 12).

“Mr Sodha’s appointment may also be a good moment in time to discuss Pharmacy2U and other online-only pharmacies’ inclusion in the NPA,” it added, “and how we can collectively work together to use technology to help create a more efficient service for patients and the NHS”.

NPA “already has online-only members”

In response to Pharmacy2U’s call for a meeting, the NPA – which defines itself as “the trade association for independent community pharmacy owners in the UK” – said “it already has a number of online-only pharmacies in [its] membership”.

“That’s been the case for years,” it added. 

C+D has asked the NPA for a list of its existing online-only members.

The NPA has criticised Pharmacy2U twice this year: complaining to the advertising watchdog about two Pharmacy2U television adverts and a tweet, and saying last month that it does "not recognise the figures" cited in a document by the company urging MPs to push an online dispensing agenda.

In March, C+D spent a week exploring the world of online pharmacies. Read all the coverage here.

Do you think Pharmacy2U should be allowed to join the NPA?

Suraj Contractor , Pharmacy owner/ Proprietor

I would leave the NPA too if P2U comeback tomembership. NPA’s  previous chairman Ian Strachan did a lot for community pharmacy including the campaign against the way P2U practices. P2U must have identified a weakness in the current NPA Chairman Nitin Sodha to wanting to meet with him hoping to come back to membership. 

Chandrakant Patel, Community pharmacist

P2U has unethical background, from selling patient data to misleading advertisements, surely NPA has to take this into account. I choose to leave NPA if P2U become members quite simple. After 15 years of loyal membership.

Another Pharmacist, Community pharmacist

As another hospital pharmacist is surely sounds like you know the NPA very well. Except that you don't. You're deluded.

Charles Whitfield Bott, Pharmacist Director

If they join I go

Stephen Eggleston, Community pharmacist

Two things -

I can't imagine Nitin being particularly in favour of P2U joining

If they did, how many members would leave, making the NPA unviable?

John Cleese, Production & Technical

And where would all these ex-NPA members get their rubber stamps from?

Another Pharmacist, Hospital pharmacist

Noone outside pharmacy cares about the NPA so why should pharmacy/we all care if they choose to talk to/accept as a member P2U or not?! The NPA carry no clout where it counts, and neither do any other organisations vagualey claiming to represent/regulate pharmacy either. Just like the Argos TV ads of old: pay your money, take your choice...just they forget to add "get buggar all in return"

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