Last week, the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) announced pharmacy owners in England will face an additional 17p-per-item price drop in July. It comes on top of the ongoing category M clawback – which already represents an average drop of around 17-18p-per-item – and is due to end on July 31.
Raj Radia – who has owned Spring Pharmacy in Hackney since 1987 – told C+D yesterday (July 11) that the “frightening” combination of the latest price drop on top the ongoing clawback – as well as the funding cuts – has “made life so much harder”.
Last year, Mr Radia told C+D he was offering a sore throat test service to offset the impact of the cuts, but over a year later he is still “struggling to survive”.
“For the first time in my 32 years [as a contractor], I’ve got cashflow pressures,” he added.
“We need to work smarter”
Mr Radia said he and his staff “need to work harder [and] we need to work smarter” to relieve the pharmacy’s financial pressures.
“I’m thinking about [offering a] travel service [and] I’m thinking I should look at independent prescribing…just to survive and make sure I can still maintain the staff I’ve got,” he said.
Every independent contractor “feeling the pinch”
Mr Radia, who is also chair of City and Hackney local pharmaceutical committee (LPC), said “every single independent contractor is feeling the pinch”.
It will be the members of the public that will suffer if pharmacies aren’t able to provide their “valued services”, Mr Radia said.
“I’m such a proactive pharmacist. I do dispensing, I provide services to the maximum of what I can, I’m chair of the LPC, and I sit on the transformation board,” he added. “I try do to the right thing and [the situation] is just crazy.”