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134 pharmacies have closed since funding cuts imposed, DH reveals

One hundred and thirty-four pharmacies have closed since the funding cuts were imposed in England, the Department of Health and Social Care (DH) has told the High Court.

UPDATE – May 25

The government has since revealed that a total of 156 pharmacies did in fact close in England between November 2016 and April 2018. Read the latest story here.


James Eadie QC – the lawyer representing the DH in pharmacy's appeal against the funding cuts – said the 134 pharmacies that closed between April 2016 and April 2018 do not include distance-selling pharmacies that may have closed during this period.

Mr Eadie argued the DH did not know how many pharmacies would close as a result of the 12% cut to the sector’s funding in England, and the decision was based on the need to save NHS costs and drive efficiencies.

“This was about macro-market efficiency. If some [pharmacies] that are less efficient go to the wall, then so be it,” Mr Eadie said in the Royal Courts of Justice today (May 23).

C+D has contacted the DH for further details about the closures.

Reported closures so far

C+D has so far confirmed the locations of 31 Lloydspharmacy branches that have closed as a result of the funding cuts – part of the 190 pharmacies the multiple deemed “commercially unviable”.

Only last week, Rowlands revealed to C+D that it is considering “reducing its branch network” because of the “draconian” cuts to pharmacy funding in England.

Last November, pharmacy chain PCT Healthcare confirmed to C+D it had made the “difficult decision” to close two branches due to “continuing attrition”.

C+D digital reporter Thomas Cox (@CandDThomas) has been reporting live from the court for the duration of the funding cuts appeal. Catch up on events from the first day here, and today’s proceedings here. You can also follow the action on Twitter using the hashtag #CutsInCourt

Have any pharmacies closed in your area recently?

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