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Ornella Barra reaffirms Alliance Boots strategic commitment to independent pharmacy


The European Pharmacists Forum (EPF) held its second seminar of 2012 on 4 and 5 July at the Westin Hotel in Paris. Attended by leading pharmacists from across ten countries, the two-day event provided a platform for members to discuss recent developments within the industry.

Ornella Barra, Chief Executive Pharmaceutical Wholesale Division of Alliance Boots, described how the Group's strategic partnership with US company Walgreens will create exciting prospects for independent pharmacy: "The enlarged scale and sourcing capabilities of the combined group will enable us to bring additional benefits to independent pharmacists throughout Europe, which is something I am personally very committed to. 


"In pharmaceutical wholesale, bigger is better for independent pharmacists, manufacturers and patients who are able to benefit from great opportunities within an expanded international network. The global scale of the combination of Walgreens and Alliance Boots, together with a locally tailored approach, go hand in hand and I very much look forward to pharmacy becoming one of the key priorities of the new enterprise."


Alongside Ornella Barra, EPF members also heard from Nicolas Cartier, General Manager of Sanofi France, who looked at the relationship between manufacturers and pharmaceutical wholesalers in France, Claude Le Pen, Economics Professor at Paris-Dauphine University and Board member of the College of the Health Economists, who investigated the perspectives and challenges of the French pharmacy business model and Joaquim Fausto Ferreira, Managing Director of Alliance Healthcare France, who provided an overview of the French pharmaceutical wholesale market.


The EPF was also delighted to welcome as a new member French pharmacist Herve' Thoraval who has more than 30 years' experience in pharmacy and is President of Alphega Pharmacy France.


Andrew Lane, President of the EPF, commented: "While pharmacists value their independence, having a collective voice at a European level is increasingly important, so the regular EPF seminars have become a ‘must' for independent pharmacists and manufacturers to share ideas, as well as facilitate dialogue on the future of the profession. 


"As the new strategic partnership between Alliance Boots and Walgreens demonstrates, the healthcare market is evolving rapidly and there are considerable exciting opportunities to be seized. I firmly believe the EPF will play an even bigger role in the future."


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About the European Pharmacists Forum (EPF):
The European Pharmacists Forum was established in 1999. Its main aims are to support a European and transversal approach to the profession, to bring together the pharmacist customers of Alliance Boots to discuss new ideas and share key messages, as well as to facilitate positive dialogue with public authorities and manufacturers.

Alliance Boots sponsorship of the Forum highlights its commitment to pharmacists and its desire to be seen by the healthcare sector in Europe as a key partner.


The members, who meet on a quarterly basis, represent ten countries: the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Turkey, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Switzerland
and Germany.


About Alliance Boots
Alliance Boots is a leading international, pharmacy-led health and beauty group delivering a range of products and services to customers. Working in close partnership with manufacturers and pharmacists, we are committed to improving health in the local communities we serve and helping our customers and patients to look and feel their best. Our focus is on growing our two core businesses: pharmacy-led health and beauty retailing and pharmaceutical wholesaling and distribution.


Alliance Boots has a presence in more than 25* countries and employs over 116,000* people. Alliance Boots has pharmacy-led health and beauty retail businesses in 11* countries and operates more than 3,330* health and beauty retail stores, of which just over 3,200* have a pharmacy. In addition, Alliance Boots has around 625* optical practices, of which around 185* operate on a franchise basis. Our pharmaceutical wholesale businesses supply medicines, other healthcare products and related services to more than 170,000* pharmacies, doctors, health centres and hospitals from over 370* distribution centres in 21* countries.
* Figures are approximations as at 31 March 2012 and include associates and joint ventures.

For further information, please contact:
Yves Romestan / Laura Vergani / Katie Johnson / Julie Longton, Alliance Boots.
Tel: +44 (0) 1932 871400