Industry leaders are warning that more pharmacies will close unless the government provides “urgent finding” as the sector are financially “struggling.”
Many pharmacies have already closed “for good” since 2015 as a result of the government’s “big” funding cut.
There is a £1.1 billion shortfall of funding year on year which has led to operating losses and pharmacies were then unable to pay wholesalers for medicine.
Leyla Hannbeck, chief executive of the Association of Independent Multiple Pharmacies told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “We are expecting that this year many more will do the same unless the Government comes out and injects pharmacy with some liquidity and funding to keep the sector going.”
“For pharmacists to keep their head above the water something needs to be done urgently,” she added.
Thorrun Govind, chair of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society in England, told BBC One’s Breakfast show “When I’m working in the pharmacy there’s often occasions where I know what treatment is required but I can’t provide it because I’m hindered by the system that I’m working in.
“People may need support with fungal nail infections but for example the cost of that is quite high if you’re having to use it for a long period of time, which they tend to need, so they’re saying to me, ‘Well I need to go to the GP and get a prescription for that because it will cost me less in the long term’.”
“Pharmacists are really accessible – about a 20-minute walk for most people – and the staff there tend to be from the communities from where they are working so actually health inequalities are also being tackled when we have pharmacies open,” she added