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Avicenna and Weldricks reveal their newly qualified pharmacist offerings

Following decisions by the multiples to raise their starting salaries for newly qualified pharmacists in recent weeks, Avicenna, Weldricks and an anonymous independent pharmacy have revealed to C+D what they offer pharmacists at the beginning of their career. 

Last month, 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. 

Meanwhile, Superdrug revealed to C+D that it now offers a starting salary of £45,000 after a further review of salaries in June. 


Read more: How much do Superdrug and Lloydspharmacy pay newly qualified pharmacists?


Lloydspharmacy has also upped its starting salary and now pays a “highly competitive rate of over £43,500 a year, full-time equivalent (FTE)” following a review late last year, a spokesperson for the multiple also told C+D last month.

But how does this compare to salaries that new pharmacists can expect to earn at other pharmacies across the UK? C+D spoke to two small multiples and an independent pharmacy to find out.


Avicenna: “Tend to be higher than Boots and Lloydspharmacy”


Avicenna told C+D that the salaries for newly qualified pharmacists across its 135 owned branches “tend to be higher than those published by Boots and Lloydspharmacy”. 

They do, however, vary according to “location, specific responsibility and the size of the pharmacy”, Jonathan Power, the multiple’s chief executive officer added. 

Starting salaries across all of its pharmacies also increased in April following a review, he said. 


Weldricks: “Competitive with Boots’ rate” 


Meanwhile, Weldricks Pharmacy – which has 59 branches across Yorkshire – pays a “salary that is competitive with the rate that Boots [says it] will pay”, director of operations David Vanns told C+D. 

Newly qualified pharmacists also have “regular reviews during their time with us to ensure that their rate of pay is commensurate with their development”, he added. These reviews include performance, skills and abilities. 

Flexibility requests are also considered, “as not everyone will wish to work on a standard hours contract”, he said. 

New pharmacists can also expect “the same benefits as all our other pharmacists”, Mr Vann added, which include: a Westfield Health Plan; income protection – 75% base salary; death in service payment – twice the annual salary; AXA PPP private healthcare policy; a pension plan; and holiday. 


“Pay review in October, given the rising cost of living” 


An independent pharmacy owner based in north-east England – who wishes to remain anonymous – told C+D that they do not offer a newly qualified pharmacist role, but pharmacists are paid £44,000 per annum “for basic hours”.

The pay rate was last agreed in April, the contractor said, following a review, and will be reviewed again in October, “given the rising cost of living”.


Read more: More than 840 working days lost to pharmacy staff shortages in a month


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

This was later rectified to £35,000 – £45,000 per year.


Looking for a new role or to advertise a vacancy? Head to C+D Jobs


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