Sidmouth government pharmacist backed by peers

Jeannette Howe, of the Department of Health

Jeannette Howe, of the Department of Health - Credit: Archant

Those in the know in pharmaceuticals have voted a Sidmouth chemist into their top 10 in an industry poll.

More than 37,000 Chemist and Druggist magazine readers took part in the Pharmacy 50, placing Jeannette Howe, the Department of Health’s head of pharmacy, at number six.

Proud parents Tony and Valerie Reed encouraged her to pursue further education, but never knew she would get so far.

Her father, the former chairman of Sidmouth Town Council, said: “I thought it was a profession that would stand her in good stead – I just thought she’d work at a local pharmacy.”

Tony said he had to leave school young to work on his family’s farm in Weston, and was keen for Jeannette to realise her potential.


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Her first taste of the pharmaceutical industry was a Saturday job in Sidmouth’s Boots while she was studying at The King’s School, before she moved on to Bath University and a postgraduate course in Chelsea.

Then, when her tutor was seconded to the Department of Health, Jeannette went with him, and she has since worked her way through the ranks.

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Chemist and Druggist magazine said her work behind the scenes at the Department of Health had had a ‘diverse and profound effect’ on pharmacy.

The 52-year-old is the first pharmacist to take the position of head of pharmacy, rather than simply advise, and her former colleague, Rob Darracott, said it was no surprise she was being celebrated.

She is now married to a pharmacologist, Dr Kevin Howe, and together they have a 16-year-old son, David.

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