Three quarters of readers have rejected the Pharmacists’ Defence Association’s (PDA) suggestion that pharmacies should consider merging to combat the government’s funding cuts.
In a C+D poll that ran between March 30 and April 4, 76% of 105 respondents said they would not consider merging.
The remainder backed the suggestion, outlined by PDA chair Mark Koziol, as a way to protect businesses from the government’s accusation that there are “more pharmacies than necessary”.
Mr Koziol told C+D last month that maintaining the capacity of two or three pharmacists in the same location could facilitate the development of a range of clinical services that pharmacists are currently too busy to deliver.
However, community pharmacist Stephen Eggleston, questioned how the concept of merging pharmacies would work. “Whose premises are used and who pays for the unused one?” he posted on the C+D website.
Barnsley LPC vice-chair Andy Beardshall told C+D there would need to be “a change in legislation to prevent any new contract applications near the closed-down site”.
Community pharmacist Clive Hodgson said that, while the PDA proposals "sound interesting", he does not believe "there is any interest by the government in funding new pharmacy clinical services". "The chances of new services providing a reasonable living wage for an individual pharmacist are zero," he added.
The PDA launched its campaign against the pharmacy cuts last month, and called on the government to examine the finances of companies that own wholesalers and large multiples, as a way to make the NHS savings.