The UK’s National Pharmacy Association has launched a new petition to save the country’s pharmacies, which may face closure as a result of funding cuts for the sector.
The petition, hosted on 38 Degrees, calls on supporters to “please make sure that all of us have a pharmacy nearby. Don’t cut the funding that keeps thousands of pharmacies open.”
— National Pharmacy Association (@NPA1921) October 15, 2016
NPA chairman Ian Strachan said that the Government’s approach shows “a complete disregard for the community pharmacy sector and the wellbeing of patients.
“This is a slap in the face for hardworking pharmacy teams and for concerned patients.
“Millions of worried patients have asked the Department of Health to think again. Politicians from all parties are against the cuts. It is abundantly clear that the current policy approach is flawed and universally unpopular.
“Yet elements within Government seem determined to press ahead with this damaging experiment, deaf to the nationwide protests. It is clear that they believe there are too many pharmacies and want closures.
“In the long run, thousands are at risk, unless there is a change of mindset and a change of direction amongst Ministers and officials.
“What concerns us most is the idea that still exists in parts of government and NHS which views pharmacy as merely a distribution point for medicines. Local pharmacies are so much more than that – they are a vital health and social care asset at the heart of communities.”
Last week the Pharmacy Minister confirmed a Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee announcement that funding for the sector would drop by 7.4%, saying the current system does not do enough to promote efficiency or quality.
The Department also said there was no reliable way to foresee the number of pharmacies that could close as a result.
The PSNC rejected the funding package.