Chemists' body in trawl for support

A body representing leading pharmacists and stores such as Boots, Superdrug, Sainsbury's and Tesco is on the hunt for public affairs support.

The Company Chemists' Association (CCA) has kicked off a pitch process and is expected to hire an agency next month.

The association is keen to ensure government policy and regulation enables the pharmacy sector to expand and wants an agency to help drive this message in Westminster and Whitehall.

The successful agency will also be called on to promote pharmacies' community work and to actively champion the position of corporate pharmacy on many issues.

Head of comms Georgina Craig would only say: 'We are reviewing our working practices and comms strategies.'

But PRWeek understands the CCA has already drawn up a shortlist of four agencies.

Insiders said APCO would be keen to pick up the business, having recently lost its account with Lloydspharmacy to Insight Public Affairs (PRWeek, 18 April).

The CCA has nine companies in membership. They are: Boots, The Co-operative Pharmacy, Lloydspharmacy, Tesco, J Sainsbury, Wm Morrison Supermarkets, Asda Wal-Mart, Rowlands Pharmacy and Superdrug. Its members own more than 5,000 pharmacies representing 45 per cent of the pharmacies in the United Kingdom.

The CCA provides a forum for large businesses engaged in community pharmacy to work together.

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