Following the news that LloydsPharmacy has confirmed the sale of all its branches, Malcolm Harrison, Chief Executive of the Company Chemists’ Association (CCA) said:
“Today it has been confirmed that all of the LloydsPharmacy branches have been sold. It is obviously very concerning that the owner of such a large organisation has chosen to exit the community pharmacy market.
Today’s announcement must serve as a wake-up call to the Government and NHS. Since 2015, core funding has been cut in real terms by 30% and there has been a net loss of more than 1,000 pharmacies. This calendar year alone, there has been a net loss of 299 pharmacies. All the while, workload associated with NHS services has risen inexorably.
We recognise that the Government and NHS have recently announced new money for the delivery of new care services in the Primary Care Recovery Plan, but this new money will be spent on the delivery of new care services – it will not address the underlying fragility in the market, nor will it be able to make up for almost a decade of underfunding.
Choosing not to properly fund pharmacies to supply NHS medicines is a false economy. Pharmacies currently supply over 1bn NHS medicines each year to patients. Access to medicines and other critical primary care services will continue to deteriorate as more and more pharmacies close”.