PRimage believe that the Pharmacy White Paper should be welcomed as a very positive step towards developing further opportunities for the NHS and pharmacies to unlock the potential of community pharmacy for the long-term benefit of the health service and patient healthcare and wellbeing. After all, pharmacists are highly trained professionals who do so much more than just dispense prescriptions – as many of the profession’s influencing messages over recent years have reminded opinion formers.
However, Judy Viitanen feels that some of the professional bodies must look carefully at their communication and media messages. For example, the PRimage team have noted some ‘mixed messages’ in the past week from the National Pharmacy Association (NPA), which could leave the public, media and parliamentarians somewhat confused ….
Wednesday April 2nd, we saw a comment from the NPA in the Daily Telegraph, which said: “Pharmacists train for five years and are able to do far more than dole out prescriptions.” On Friday April 4th, the NPA welcomed the Pharmacy White Paper as ‘a statement of faith in community pharmacy by Government’ – adding that it ‘signals that it’s time to unlock the long recognised potential of community pharmacy.’
Then today we read yet another NPA comment in the Daily Telegraph, within an article, headlined ‘Pharmacies threatened by ‘superchemist’. The quote was: “The National Pharmaceutical Association said independent chemists “rely very heavily on prescription business and we would worry that any change to how prescriptions are dispensed could put smaller chemists out of business”.