The ‘Making it Happen’ report, which outlines the framework for the vision set out in the Community Pharmacy Forward View, could yet turn out to be the parting gift to the profession from Pharmacy Voice, which is set to disband by the end of the year.
Most independents won’t have found many of the CPFV proposals particularly ground-breaking, and may well be involved in some of the initiatives already. But the document presents a clear vision of the future and has been generally well received.
If most of its vision becomes reality, community pharmacy would be well on its way to reaching its potential. Of course, without government engagement, it could become simply another theoretical exercise, and this lack of engagement is the issue that constantly frustrates the profession. What on earth does pharmacy have to do to convince the Department of Health that better use of its services is plain common sense?
Since the launch of Pharmacy Voice, the profession had apparently got better at communicating this message, and it will be sorely missed. How pharmacy representation will shape up in its absence remains to be seen. But let’s not underestimate the size of the task facing the NPA in getting the voice of independents heard.
On a more positive note, congratulations to the winners of this year’s ICP Pharmacy Product of the Year awards. These products have been singled out by independent community pharmacy teams as offering the best value and support for their pharmacy and its customers. Strong relationships have never been more important for independent pharmacy businesses and their suppliers and, if the sector is to thrive, they must be cherished and nurtured. Let’s hope that independent pharmacy and its suppliers can continue to work together to maximise mutual benefits.