NPA chairman: November "worst month" in decades for pharmacy
National Pharmacy Association chairman Ian Strachan has issued a statement to members on the serious financial strains faced by pharmacy contractors, describing November as â€œthe worst month I can ever recall since qualifying in 1986â€.
Mr Strachan said: â€œNot only are we feeling the full wrath of direct cuts to funding, but this relentless instability combined with inflated prices is leading to even greater uncertainty and stress for pharmacy contractors.â€
â€œTo date, only around a third of the PSNC submissions for November price concessions has been actioned. There is still time for more of these prices to be adjusted to reflect the coalface reality of your November pricing bundle â€“ but there are no guarantees,â€ he told NPA members.
Independent community pharmacies are â€œlosing money like water through a sieveâ€ while concessions are up in the air, Mr Strachan said, adding that pharmacists selling stock at a loss are making a â€œremarkable display of professionalismâ€.
He said that amid the complex factors contributing to the current state of play, there is â€œone clear and simple fact: pharmacists who are playing by the rules and putting the needs of patients first are being penalisedâ€.
Addressing ministers and officials, Mr Strachan asked: â€œDo you understand whatâ€™s going on at the pharmacy coalface? Do you care enough to do something about it? Do you really want community pharmacy to succeed for patients, or are you in fact prepared to see the sector suffer and sicken, to the point that it cannot be the agent of transformational change the NHS so desperately needs it to be?â€