Prime Minister backs community pharmacy

Prime Minister backs community pharmacy

February 11, 2021

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has signalled his support for community pharmacies and for reimbursing their COVID-19 costs, recognising the importance of their role in the pandemic response.

During yesterday’s (10 February) Downing Street press briefing, the Prime Minister was asked about community pharmacies and whether they would have their additional costs from the pandemic reimbursed. 

Nigel Praities, Executive Editor of the Pharmaceutical Journal, said community pharmacies have been a ‘vital lifeline’ for people during the pandemic, but highlighted financial pressures and warned of potential closures. He asked the Prime Minister: 

“When are you going to reimburse pharmacies for their additional costs during the pandemic, and how many pharmacies are you happy to see close before the government does anything about it?”

The Prime Minister responded praising the role of community pharmacies, stating that he doesn’t want to see any pharmacies close as they provide an outstanding resource for the country and its healthcare needs.  

On the question of whether pharmacies will be reimbursed for their additional costs, he stated: 

“On your point about reimbursement, I want to make sure they are reimbursed as soon as possible. They play a vital role in helping us to fight the pandemic as well as providing many other public health needs.”

As our update on funding negotiations earlier this week indicated, PSNC wants community pharmacy contractors to be compensated for the full impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on their businesses and we are in ongoing dialogue with Ministers on this topic.

PSNC Chief Executive Simon Dukes said: 

“It was encouraging to hear the Prime Minister committing to reimbursing community pharmacies’ COVID-19 costs last night, and this was well timed coming alongside increasing national media coverage of the sector and PSNC’s latest Ministerial meetings on this topic earlier that day.

The negotiations on COVID-19 costs are ongoing and at the heart of them is the question of how great those costs are: this is the difficult discussion that we are having with HM Treasury (HMT) and the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC). We’ll continue to highlight Ministers’ support for the sector in our discussions, but the very positive words of politicians must now lead to the funding outcomes that we need.”

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