The First Minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford, and Wales’ Chief Pharmaceutical Officer Andrew Evans were among guests to gather at Cardiff Castle on Monday to celebrate the centenary of the National Pharmacy Association.

Mark Drakeford told the assembled NPA members:

“The word ‘community’ in community pharmacy means something. As well as being an essential clinical resource, community pharmacy is an economic driver. As we rebuild after the pandemic, you will be one of the anchors that help maintain the vitality of local high streets.”

He praised the work of pharmacy teams during the pandemic, saying:

“You have been on the frontline of the extraordinary experience we’ve all been through. Without you we wouldn’t have got through this together… that’s why there is support for community pharmacy across the political spectrum in Wales.”

Making a formal toast, Andrew Evans said:

“We have ambitions for a reinvented community pharmacy service – one that is thoroughly modern but built around the values and behaviours that are intrinsic to independent community pharmacy. The NPA and its members will have an invaluable role in that future.”

Health & Social Services Minister, Eluned Morgan, told guests, via a recorded video message, that the lessons of the pandemic will “help us further develop the role of pharmacies” and promised ongoing support. She looked forward to “a positive agreement [with Community Pharmacy Wales] later this financial year, which will reflect our shared ambition that every community pharmacy in Wales will provide an extended range of services, available consistently across the country.”

Held at the historic Cardiff Castle on Monday evening (6 September), the centenary event brought together NPA members, the NPA board and a range of stakeholders to recognise the contribution of independent pharmacies in Wales. It was hosted by the NPA’s board representative for Wales, Raj Aggarwal OBE.