Chemist + Druggist is part of Pharma Intelligence UK Limited

This is operated by Pharma Intelligence UK Limited, a company registered in England and Wales with company number 13787459 whose registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. The Pharma Intelligence group is owned by Caerus Topco S.à r.l. and all copyright resides with the group.

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use. Please do not redistribute without permission.

Printed By


Opinion: Pharmacies should be online for better patient access

As dispensing volumes grow and the demand for patient consultations increases, Harry McQuillan explores whether technology offers a solution so that both pharmacists and patients are happy…

Technology and automation can help pharmacists meet the increasing demand of Pharmacy First consultations and other minor ailments patient services.

Recent years have witnessed an unprecedented growth in pharmacy based technological solutions, from robots to spoke and hub to DSPs - but there is no one-size-fits-all.

Positioning local pharmacies as central hubs for everyday healthcare support services and professional advice through Pharmacy First is pivotal in meeting the changing pressures and demands that pharmacies and the NHS are facing.

Read more: Opinion: Even the cleverest analysis will only prolong the medicine shortage

The expansion of pharmacy services through technology only goes to show the necessity of making in-person care available. Community pharmacy plays a valuable role in preventative healthcare, which not only protects patients but can help offset outbreaks within the wider community.

Technology and investment can help deliver healthcare effectively, but that offering is only complete within a pharmacy which can be visited as and when it’s needed.

While being able to contact a pharmacist from a smartphone may increase access to health services, and may be preferred by many patients, it also creates a barrier for patients without devices, like elderly patients or other patients from lower socio-economic backgrounds. Healthcare services should be available to everyone.

Read more: Will expanding access to naloxone OTC be the right move?

What we need to see is movement to a position where a combination of human and digital connection points offer an empathetic service for patients, and support pharmacists to expand their role as a pillar of community healthcare.

Change is inevitable, but leveraging change is what will help community pharmacy evolve in 2024 through the delivery of Pharmacy First and the continued safe provision of medicines. We need to place innovation at the heart of our pharmacies and our pharmacies at the heart of our communities.


Harry McQuillan is chairman of Numark and a former CEO of Community Pharmacy.


Related Content


New Zealand
£ Competitive

Apply Now
Latest News & Analysis
See All



Ask The Analyst

Please Note: You can also Click below Link for Ask the Analyst
Ask The Analyst

Thank you for submitting your question. We will respond to you within 2 business days. my@email.address.

All fields are required.

Please make sure all fields are completed.

Please make sure you have filled out all fields

Please make sure you have filled out all fields

Please enter a valid e-mail address

Please enter a valid Phone Number

Ask your question to our analysts