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How much do Superdrug and Lloydspharmacy pay newly qualified pharmacists?

Following Boots’ decision to raise its starting salary for newly qualified pharmacists, Lloydspharmacy, Superdrug and Rowlands have told C+D what they offer pharmacists at the beginning of their career. 

Last week, Boots announced it would offer a starting salary of £42,000 to newly qualified pharmacists joining the multiple on a full-time basis – which C+D understands is 40 hours per week – from August, following negotiations with the Pharmacists’ Defence Association (PDA) Union. 


Read more: Boots to offer newly qualified pharmacists £42k from August


The promised salary represents an 11% increase on the £37,750 previously earned by newly qualified pharmacists at the multiple, C+D understands. 

How does this compare to salaries that new pharmacists can expect to earn at other large multiples? C+D spoke to some of the sector’s biggest employers to find out. 


Superdrug: £45,000 “represents our commitment to investing in our pharmacists” 


Superdrug told C+D on Friday (June 24) that the company now offers a starting salary of £45,000 to newly qualified pharmacists, which “represents our commitment to investing in our pharmacists both financially and professionally”.

“From January 2022, our minimum salary for newly qualified pharmacists was £42,000. Upon further review in June 2022, it was increased to £45,000,” the multiple clarified to C+D today.

Superdrug also ensures pharmacists are “fully remunerated for their expertise”, it added. 

The multiple offers training and support to “help colleagues thrive and grow during their careers with us” and its pharmacists are also eligible for a “market-leading bonus alongside their salary, which has seen year on year uplifts”, the spokesperson said. 

“Recruiting and retaining pharmacist expertise is a priority for us which is why we offer highly competitive pharmacist salaries at every stage of a pharmacist’s career,” they told C+D.


Lloydspharmacy: “Highly competitive” at £43,500  


Meanwhile, Lloydspharmacy – the second biggest multiple after Boots in terms of number of branches – pays its newly qualified community pharmacists a “highly competitive rate of over £43,500 a year, full-time equivalent (FTE)”, a spokesperson for the multiple also told C+D on Friday. 

C+D has asked what FTE hours Lloydspharmacy pharmacists are contracted to work.

“We know that to ensure the sustained future success of community pharmacy, we must attract a strong pipeline of talent,” the spokesperson added. 

This salary, which was put into place late last year, marks “our continued commitment to be an employer of choice”, they said. 


Read more: Lloydspharmacy sends sweets to competitors’ employees to attract ‘best talent’


“High street pharmacies play a crucial role in the fabric of our society, and pharmacists are at the heart; using their expertise they prevent, manage, and treat conditions to protect the health of the community,” they added. 


Rowlands: “Competitive starting salaries” 


While Rowlands claims it offers “competitive starting salaries, along with rewarding lifetime career potential opportunities”, it did not confirm the salary it pays newly qualified pharmacists. 

However, “we are confident our colleagues look at the overall package and career progression”, a spokesperson for the multiple told C+D today (June 27).

“Starting work for Rowlands is the first point of a longer-term pharmacist’s career progression and we are there to support them every step of the way,” the spokesperson added. 


Read more: Workforce group pledges to review wording on pharmacist salary prospects following criticism


A spokesperson for Morrisons also confirmed to C+D that the multiple does not disclose its salary bands. 

However, “as a business we continually review our market-leading salaries”, they added. “We work hard on our ambition of a fair day's pay for a fair day's work and all of our salaries are competitive, based on the skills needed for the role.” 

Similarly, a spokesperson for Well confirmed that they could not share confidential salary information. 

Tesco and Asda were also approached by C+D, but did not respond prior to publication. 

In October, the Community Pharmacy Workforce Development Group – which brings together representatives from key employers in community pharmacy – came under fire over a webpage dedicated to community pharmacists suggesting that “a newly qualified pharmacist can expect to earn around £25,000-£35,000 per year”.

This “may rise to over £50,000 depending on experience, qualifications, and where in the UK you are working”, it said before the wording was rectified. 


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