Lloyds Pharmacy announced in January this year that they are closing down all 237 of its outlets in Sainsbury’s over the course of 2023 due to changing market conditions. Following Lloyds Pharmacy’s announcement, ASDA also announced in January that they close 7 of its in-store pharmacy and Tesco confirmed to be closing down 8 of its in-store pharmacies. That’s a total of 252 pharmacies, potentially more, will be closed by the end of 2023, impacting thousands of pharmacists and pharmacy staff. The good news is that a number of pharmacy groups and industry bodies have expressed that they will be supporting all the staff impacted by the closure. However, patients in the local areas will find it harder to get access to medicine and health services that they have been relying on.
Decisions showing pharmacies are poorly funded
The decisions of supermarkets closing their in-store pharmacies along with other pharmacies closed down in the UK over the past few years showed that the government funding for the industry has been insufficient. Industry leaders have expressed their concerns over such trend and the risks coming with it, and called for the NHS to take actions to relieve the pressure as community pharmacies take on additional services under the primary care recovery plan. ‘‘Pharmacies are no longer economically sustainable and there is a real risk that other pharmacies would not be able to pick up increased demand should pharmacies start to suddenly close’’ said Janet Morrison, chief executive of the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC), according to The Pharmaceutical Journal.
Opportunities for other contractors
Following the closure of 252 pharmacies, a large number of patients and items will be displaced. Based on RWA Pharmacy’s analysis of the NHS data, there will be 880,000 patients and 16.6 million annual items shifted to other pharmacies in the local areas. These opportunities will translate into £21.1M base fee revenue, £47.8M margin opportunity and £4.5M service opportunity. We’re expecting such significant change to the industry landscape will cause a predicted rise in the average monthly items dispensed per pharmacy by up to 20%. If you would like to get more detailed information of our analysis, please contact us or email email@example.com.
How many patients & items displaced?
‘Save Our Pharmacies’ campaign launched
Just a few weeks ago, a Save Our Pharmacies campaign website has been created by leading national pharmacy bodies – PSNC, CCA, AIM and the NPA, to give new focus to calls for fair pharmacy funding in England. A new public petition has been launched on the same day. Members of the public and pharmacy teams across the country are encouraged to sign the petition. We’re fully supporting the campaign and our customers by providing the data insights as they call for immediate and fair funding to safeguard NHS pharmacy services.
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