As part of the inquiry, the APPG will study the sector’s response to the pandemic and the pressures experienced by frontline pharmacy teams and owners, the group announced yesterday (November 17).
It will look at the financial and operational impact of COVID-19 on “vital pharmacy services” and investigate “whether existing funding structures have been enough to support the sector”, the APPG added.
The group recognised that while community pharmacies have remained open throughout the pandemic and faced “unprecedented demand”, a “unique set of challenges are posing a threat to the sustainability of the sector”.
At the end of the inquiry, the group will publish a report with recommendations for the government, detailing what extra support the sector needs to remain viable in the future.
APPG chair Jackie Doyle-Price said: “Pharmacy teams have responded heroically in the face of unprecedented pressure during the pandemic. Maintaining the supply of vital medicines, stepping up to help absorb the additional demands posed by COVID-19 and going above and beyond to ensure services continue.
“However, we are hearing so many examples of how the financial and operational challenges faced by community pharmacies are being amplified by the pandemic, in many cases posing an existential threat to them. Our inquiry seeks to rapidly examine these challenges and provide a set of recommendations which can be offered to the government.”
Pharmacy professionals wishing to contribute to the inquiry can complete a 5-10 minute survey, which will run until November 30.
The APPG is also inviting sector stakeholders to submit evidence to [email protected] by November 30.