Announcing the funding – an increase on the £140.4m for 2016-17 – Welsh health secretary Vaughan Gething said on Monday (April 10) that it shows the government is “committed" to community pharmacy.
“Last year, I reaffirmed the Welsh government’s commitment to the community pharmacy sector as a fundamental part of a strong primary care service in Wales.
“At a time when thousands of community pharmacies in England face closure as a result of funding cuts of over 7%, I said there were no proposals to reduce investment in community pharmacy here in Wales,” he added.
“Today’s announcement shows we’ve been true to our promise.”
In addition to the funding, the Welsh government used the announcement to pledge to fund a national IT rollout of Choose Pharmacy – the country’s minor ailments scheme – until 2020.
Community Pharmacy Wales board member Phil Parry said the organisation is “delighted the Welsh government is continuing to work collaboratively with us as a profession to maximise the opportunities to modernise and utilise the pharmacy network – at the same time as funding is being cut in England.”
“The commitment to make the Choose Pharmacy platform available to every community pharmacy is a particularly welcome step and is an affirmation of our central role as part of the healthcare family in Wales.”