Savage cuts to pharmacy funding defended by UK Prime Minister, who says money is better spent on GPs and nurses.
The severe (6%) funding cuts that causing uproar among UK pharmacists are a “matter of value”, according to Prime Minister David Cameron.
Speaking in the House of Commons yesterday, Prime Minister Cameron said there had a “massive increase” in pharmacy spending over the last five years.
Alongside its mission to get value for money, the government must “make sure that as much NHS resources go to the front line – the doctors and the nurses and the operations and the A&E”, Cameron said, as reported by UK pharmacy publication Chemist + Druggist.
He was responding to a question from Labor MP Sue Hayman, who has thrown her support behind a petition started by Alison’s Chemist in Cockermouth, in her electorate of Workington in the NW county of Cumbria.
The petition has been signed by more than 2,000 people to date, Hayman said.
Hayman said the ongoing revelations about potential abuse of medicines use reviews by Boots pharmacy chain showed the value of small local pharmacies.
“Isn’t it time the Prime Minister and his government supported independent pharmacies like Alison’s, which are a vital lifeline for our community and help to keep our high streets alive?”
Prime Minister Cameron said there is “a specific scheme” to support rural pharmacies.
The issue of the UK cuts was the topic of an impassioned speech by UK pharmacy leaders Ian Strachan and Mark Burdon at APP2016 in March.
The proposed cuts would lead to the closure of up to a quarter of pharmacies and would “rip up the profession”, they said.