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1,500 sign MP's petition to save 'struggling' pharmacies from closure

Tim Farron: While some pharmacies have weathered the storm, many are struggling
Tim Farron: While some pharmacies have weathered the storm, many are struggling

A petition launched by Tim Farron MP, urging the government to set up a fund to save independent pharmacies from closing, has garnered 1,500 signatures.

Former Liberal Democrat party leader Mr Farron said “many independent pharmacies in [his constituency of] South Lakes are in danger of going out of business”, because of the funding cuts in England and clawbacks – including the Category M clawback which ended last month, and the 17p-per-item price drop announced in July.

It is “simply scandalous” that the government does not fully cover the cost of prescription items dispensed, Mr Farron told C+D last week (August 7).

“The NHS repeatedly tells people to use pharmacies to reduce pressure on GPs and A&E departments, but then the government doesn’t fund them for that work properly,” he said.

Mr Farron claimed the funding cuts had left one pharmacy in his constituency £5,000 out of pocket for the medicines it dispensed in one month, a situation he described as “shocking”.

Pharmacy closures “simply not good enough”

Responding to C+D’s exclusive investigation, which revealed for the first time the locations of the 140 pharmacies that have closed in the wake of the funding cuts in England, Mr Farron, MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale in Cumbria – also known as South Lakes – told C+D: “It’s simply not good enough.”

While “pharmacies in South Lakes have weathered the storm, with some being taken over by national chains…many are struggling”, Mr Farron told C+D.

“Local pharmacies provide a vital service close at hand in many small rural communities across South Lakes. If pharmacies close, the next nearest pharmacy can be many miles away, in areas with little in the way of reliable public transport.

“Large national chains might be able to cross-subsidise their pharmacy side as a ‘loss leader’, but that option simply isn’t available for many independent pharmacies.”

“Core funding” needed

The petition – which Mr Farron launched in the spring – follows the parliamentary motion he tabled in February, which called for the government to establish an Essential Community Pharmacy Scheme, to provide “core funding so that community pharmacies won’t be forced to close”, he announced on his website.

At the time, a spokesperson for Mr Farron told C+D that the scheme would comprise funding for community pharmacies which are located four miles from another one “and/or” are independent or part of a small chain.

To sign the petition, click here

5 Comments
Question: 
Would you like to see the introduction of the Essential Community Pharmacy Scheme?

Sue Per, Locum pharmacist

Accts brief of H shackleton :Incorporated in 2005, Reserves of approx 5 million, after remuneration, and dividends, Thanks to the tax payer for a very generous pharmacy contract. and locums who are still at the rate set back in 2005. Time to claw back deep and fast and open up the markets to compete with these gang masters, rather than work for them!!!.

Usual disingenous article from C & D., with such profits if they are not prepared to share it with the Pharmacits (Locum & Employees) who are the key drivers, I, say claw it back FAST. If we dont deserve it, they deserve even less!!!

Dave Downham, Manager

Your post might have had more credibility if you'd posted it on the right article. Not very Sue Per.

Adam Hall, Community pharmacist

Whilst I am no fan of Tiny Tim, I am pleased there has been someone in Westminster being proactive, even if it is only "lip-service+". Can he be the only MP to note that HMG want patients to go to pharmacies to help ease the pressure on all those over-paid, under-worked GPs (oops, sorry, my bad) yet makes it impossible by cutting funding? If he is, then it's time for a revolution and get rid of all those parasites in the House of Commons. 

Jonny Johal, Pharmacy Area manager/ Operations Manager

The petition is launched by Tin Tin which says it all. He is so relevant to today’s politics, especially his views on sexuality. 

geoffrey gardener, Community pharmacist

Congratulations on such a well argued point. I see you are an area manager, no wonder the profession is in the state it is.

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