Many pharmacy owners are forgoing salaries and are using personal savings and pensions to help fund their businesses, the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) chief executive Simon Dukes told C+D in an exclusive podcast interview on Wednesday (January 20).
“That’s clearly not sustainable,” he stressed. “It is appalling that a key part of healthcare for this country is having to be run on that basis.”
If the government does not increase the sector’s funding by the end of the five-year contract, “perhaps a number of pharmacies will decide they've had enough”, and “close their doors for good”, he warned.
Earlier this week, Mr Dukes revealed that more than 200 pharmacies in England had closed as of October last year, which he branded “nonsensical” during a pandemic.
When asked what tangible financial support he would like to see for the sector, Mr Dukes said pharmacies needed an agreement that the requirement to repay the £370 million advance payment – announced during the first national lockdown last year – will be waived.
He also would like to see help with COVID-related costs, Mr Dukes added.
Listen to the podcast to find out more about:
- PSNC’s proposals for a “wider” COVID vaccination programme
- The battle for pharmacy to be seen as part of the “NHS family”
- Whether he thinks pharmacy’s role in the pandemic will help change government and policy makers’ opinions on the sector