Nitin Sodha has stepped down from the National Pharmacy Association (NPA) board after 12 years, it was announced yesterday (2 June).
It follows him stepping aside as NPA chair last month due to an investigation into 'allegations of collusion' by the wholesaling company Lexon UK - in which he owns shares - by the Competition Markets Authority (CMA).
The watchdog is looking into allegations that four pharmaceutical companies, including Lexon UK, ‘agreed not to compete for the supply’ to the NHS of Prochlorperazine 3mg dissolvable tablets, thus driving up the cost of the drug.
The CMA’s findings are currently only provisional, and the companies involved may now make representations before a final decision is reached, the watchdog said.
The NPA declined to comment on the reasons for Mr Sodha's departure.
Mr Sodha, who served as NPA chair between April 2018 and June 2019, was also vice chair of the organisation for four years.
'A pleasure and privilege'
Mr Sodha said: 'It has been a pleasure and privilege to work for so many years with NPA board colleagues and staff to support independent pharmacies across the UK.
I believe that, following a comprehensive review of strategy, the organisation is strengthened and is heading in the right direction. There is a clear focus on compelling solutions for members, a new system for identifying and developing potential business innovations and an emphasis on enhancing stakeholder relationships.
'We have also delivered changes to strengthen the NPA’s financial position for the future.'
'We wish him well'
NPA vice chair Andrew Lane said: 'We sincerely thank Nitin for the contribution he has made as a member of the NPA board for over a decade.
'As vice chair of the association for four years he was part of the team highlighting the dangers of funding cuts to the pharmacy network...Most recently Nitin accepted responsibility for leading the association as chair, during which time he argued consistently for the expansion of clinical services within community pharmacy as a way of delivering a more sustainable future for independents.
'Nitin made a major contribution at a very challenging time for our members and we wish him well.'
The NPA told The Pharmacist that Mr Lane will 'stand in' as chair of the lobbying group. 'The board will consider putting longer term arrangements in place at its next meeting in September,' it added.