Press releases

Certainty for the country but not for Pharmacy in England

Commenting on the outcome of the recent General Election Steve Anderson, PHOENIX UK Managing Director, said…

“The Conservative election victory makes it almost inevitable that the UK will leave the EU by 31 January 2020. I hope a trade deal with the EU will be agreed swiftly bringing with it the certainty which the business community needs in order to plan and make investment decisions.

As far as the pharmaceutical sector is concerned, I believe that deal should:

  • Ensure the closest possible regulatory alignment for medicines and medical devices;
  • Ensure unfettered tariff-free distribution of medicines across European borders avoiding delays, checks, additional bureaucracy and costs;
  • Allow the continuation of parallel trade in order to avoid disruption to the medicines supply chain and adding to the NHS drugs bill;
  • Adopt a light-touch approach to EU27 citizens working in the UK (and vice versa) who work in the pharmaceutical supply chain;
  • Support international investment in Life Science R&D.

I welcome the PM’s post-election comment that the NHS will be the Government’s “top priority”. That being so, my advice to the PM and his Health Secretary is this: if you are serious about improving healthcare outcomes then review the funding arrangements for community pharmacy in England and invest in our potential to deliver more community-based care services which people want and need.

Whilst the five year CPCF brings welcome funding certainty, the reality is - taking account of inflation and increasing costs – it is a significant funding cut. As a result, year after year, this will put community pharmacy in a worse financial position than is the case today, and right now, the network is not economically sustainable which is why hundreds of pharmacies are being closed at a time when GP surgeries and A&E departments are struggling to cope with demand. That makes no sense to me and will make no sense to the public who rely on the services provided in their communities every day.

A new Government with a decisive majority is a great opportunity to rethink how the potential of community pharmacy can be unlocked in the interests of the NHS, the nation and patients. It’s a fantastic resource for us all and yet continues to be under-utilised and underfunded”.