A recent report commissioned by the National Pharmacy Association (NPA) has revealed that there’s a “real risk of several thousand pharmacy closures occurring in the next few years”, and with numbers already rapidly decreasing, this will no doubt worry pharmacy owners across the country.
According to research conducted by Ernst & Young (2020), one in three pharmacies are already operating in deficit and “almost nine in ten were reporting being unable to employ additional staff needed to provide extended services”.
The report goes on to state there has “seemingly been an intent to force the closure of commercially less viable local pharmacies,” and NHS data appears to back up this claim with more than 800 local pharmacies having closed in England since 2015.
Funding Cuts & Inflation
- In 2017/2018, funding for community pharmacy was cut by over £200 million, from £2.8bn to £2.592bn
- The Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework (CPCF) has seen funding frozen at £2.592bn since 2017 with “no annual allowance for inflation”
- The UK’s Consumer Price Index rose 11.1% between October 21/22
- Taking into account inflation, the current year’s global sum (£2.592) is worth 76% of the 2015 contract’s sum value (£2.8bn) at just £2.1bn
“Community pharmacy plays an essential role…”
The report concludes that community pharmacy “during the COVID19 pandemic demonstrated [its] value to the public”, and “continues to play an essential role in supplying NHS and privately purchased medicines throughout the UK”.
However, researchers from University College London have estimated that, by 2024, up to 3000 pharmacies could be lost.
If you’re a pharmacy owner worried about your business closing, then you may like to learn more about partnering with Healthera.
As the UK’s leading pharmacy-to-patient platform, we’ve helped more than 1,500 community pharmacies future-proof their business against funding cuts (and competition from online-only pharmacies).
Click the button below to find out how Healthera could help your business.