Mr Lansley told a London conference of more than 550 clinical leaders from across the NHS that GPs were the most trusted group in the health service.
'They are far better equipped to communicate changes to the public than PCTs because people believe that GPs are accountable to them,’ he said.
'If major service change is democratic and accountable and has clinical leadership, that causes a substantial shift in the political debate.'
He said GPs needed to increasingly think about their responsibility for resources and combine that with their goal of providing the best possible care to patients.
He also wanted GPs to work more closely with hospital specialists to improve efficiency and health outcomes, and avoid fragmentation of services.
Mr Lansley was speaking at the Maximising Quality, Minimising Cost conference, organised by UCL Partners and Monitor.