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5-year deal may mean more pharmacy closures and mergers, warns PSNC

Pharmacy owners will have to make some “difficult decisions” to adapt to the five-year funding deal, including the possibility of closing or merging branches, PSNC has warned.

It is “clear” that the next five years under the funding contract for England is going to involve “significant changes” for community pharmacies, the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) said.

“For all businesses, this will involve difficult conversations and decisions – including the possibility of branch closures for larger businesses or consolidations for smaller businesses,” PSNC director of pharmacy funding Mike Dent told C+D.

When asked by C+D what PSNC is doing to help contractors manage their finances under the new contract, Mr Dent said the negotiator will publish indicative income tables once “urgent negotiations” with NHS England and the Department of Health and Social Care (DH) on the distribution of funding have been finalised.

Responding to the news that north-east London local pharmaceutical committee (LPC) has created its own tool for contractors to determine how much profit and loss their pharmacy will make over the next five years, Mr Dent said: “Any tool developed prior to the conclusion of these negotiations is unlikely to be able to deal with the huge number of variables in a changing economic landscape.”

This is the reason PSNC has refrained from creating its own calculator tool, he added.

The indicative income tables are designed to help contractors predict what their income is likely to be over the next financial year, Mr Dent explained. “But of course, this is all highly dependent on dispensing and product mixes and factors such as local services will also play a part.”

On a positive note, “there are opportunities for those who are able to adapt”, he added.

Mr Dent recommended contractors “sit down with their accountants and get a professional, bespoke view of their businesses”.

C+D takes pharmacy pressures to parliament

C+D – in partnership with Pharmacist Support – is heading to parliament on September 9 to highlight to MPs the growing issue of pressures on pharmacists.

Find out more about the event, and share your own experiences with C+D’s features editor by emailing [email protected], or tweeting @ChemistDruggist.

Are you concerned about your pharmacy's finances under the five-year funding deal?

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