Community pharmacy sector sees 136 pharmacies net shutdown so far in 2020


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Some 155 community pharmacies have closed in England in the first eight months of 2020, according to data released by NHS Digital.

The data, published on August 28, 2020 and analyzed by Pharmaceutical journal, also revealed that during this period 19 pharmacies opened, leaving a net closure of 136 community pharmacies in 2020 so far.

This represents a 77% increase in the net number of drugstore closures in the first eight months of 2019, when 111 pharmacies closed but 34 opened – leaving a net loss of 77 pharmacies for the sector – and is more than double the net number of pharmacies that closed in the first five months of the year (67).

However, the rate of increase in closures corresponds to 2019, when there were 34 net closings at the end of May and 43 more net closings in the following three months.

Leyla Hannbeck, executive director of the Association of Independent Multiple Pharmacies, said the closures were “the tip of an iceberg”.

“Pharmacies have fended off the inevitable by under-investing in their businesses and liquidating assets to survive,” she said. Pharmaceutical journal.

“There are encouraging words from the government regarding the important role community pharmacies play as a gateway to the NHS, and we demonstrated during COVID-19 that we are truly the gateway to the NHS and a key part of primary care; as such, we need the urgent support of decision makers to continue to be there for patients and to provide care, ”she continued.

“Without this urgent support, community pharmacy service delivery will suffer and communities will lose out. “

The data follows an EY report, which warned that up to 85% of community pharmacies in England will be in financial deficit by 2024, with the Pharmaceutical Services Bargaining Committee warning that it is witnessing an increase in “Branch closings in the largest chains”.

Of the closures listed by NHS Digital, 79 were from Boots, 9 were from LloydsPharmacy branches, 5 were from Well and another 5 were from Rowlands.

In July 2020, LloydsPharmacy announced that it had placed certain positions “at risk of layoff”, due to loss of income and the impact of COVID-19.


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