Pharmacy prices rise 12% despite funding cuts
Activity in the pharmacy market continued “almost unaffected” by the funding cuts last year, property adviser Christie & Co has revealed.
Average pharmacy prices rose by 12% in 2016, despite the funding cuts and other “seismic geopolitical events”, according to Christie & Co's Business Outlook 2017 report.
The property advisor reported “an increased appetite” from existing independent and multiple businesses who see “potential opportunity to acquire further pharmacies".
Tony Evans, head of pharmacy at Christie & Co, said the outlook for pharmacies is "not bad at all”, as the sector continues to be a “safe haven for private investors and family money”.
There is also evidence that the banks are “keen to lend”, he added.
While the cuts have "understandably caused concern within the sector", there were on average eight offers on each pharmacy sold in 2016. Mr Evans anticipates a “further raft of sales” in 2017, he said.
“Contractors will have to implement measures to compensate for losses to funding, but the outlook for 2017 looks positive,” he added.
According to Christie's report, pharmacy prices increased by 13.5% in 2014 and 10.8% in 2015.
Christie & Co also highlighted that 84% of applicants registering were new entrants to the market – a 5% rise on the previous year. It predicted a “similar spike” in 2017, as pharmacists “react to the employment uncertainty as a result of the cuts”.
Last year, Mr Evans told C+D that more locums were looking to buy their own pharmacies as businesses reduce locum hours in the wake of the cuts.