The Value of Community Pharmacy

The Value of Community Pharmacy


As part of the response to Government proposals to reduce community pharmacy funding by £170m, the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) commissioned PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) to examine and quantify the economic contribution of community pharmacy in England in 2015.

The resulting report analysed the value (net benefits) to the NHS, public sector, patients and wider society of 12 specific services provided by community pharmacy. Services analysed included supervised consumption, emergency hormonal contraception provision, minor ailments, delivering prescriptions and managing drug shortages.

Key findings


Community pharmacies contributed a net value of £3 billion to the NHS, public sector, patients and wider society in England in 2015 through just 12 services, with a further £1.9 billion expected to accrue over the next 20 years. This means that community pharmacies deliver substantially more in benefits than they receive in compensation, providing excellent value to the Department of Health and Social Care.

Pharmacies made more than 150 million interventions through the services in 2015 and there was a benefit of more than £250,000 per pharmacy or £54.61 for every resident of England.


Breaking the combined contribution down into the areas which are benefitting, it was found that:

  • The NHS received a net value of £1,352 million, including cash savings as a result of cost efficiencies, and avoided NHS treatment costs;
  • Other public sector bodies (e.g. local authorities) and wider society together received over £1 billion through increased output, avoided deaths and reduced pressure on other services such as social care and justice; and
  • Patients received around £600 million, mainly in the form of reduced travel time to alternative NHS settings.

The expected amount of public sector spending saved directly as a result of the 12 services analysed in the report is enough, by itself, to offset the entire amount of public funding provided for community pharmacy in 2015. The benefits of all other pharmacy services not covered by the analysis, such as the NHS prescription service, can therefore be seen as additional net benefits of community pharmacy.

The report demonstrates the value of community pharmacy at a crucial time and PwC concludes that it is important to robustly assess the significance of any proposed changes to the support and delivery of these services.

Click on a heading below to reveal more information.

The PwC reports

Statement from PSNC Chief Executive Sue Sharpe

“PwC’s research shows that community pharmacies punch above their weight in terms of economic value. This is the evidence ministers need to make the case for continued investment in community pharmacies, developing these services even further to bring additional benefits to the NHS and wider society. We look forward to working with ministers to help them consider the implications of the research.

Community pharmacies already provide services at the heart of their communities which people rely on all over the country. Today’s research shows that those services more than pay their own way. This is an excellent foundation on which to build new services to address England’s growing healthcare challenges.

Community pharmacy has worked hard this year to make the case for the sector to be put to better to use to help both patients and the NHS. We were encouraged to hear this week that the new minister recognises the contribution that we can make and this research provides crucial evidence of the important role that we already play both across the health service and more widely.

PSNC will continue to battle to ensure policy on community pharmacy is founded on an understanding of what we do now and what we can do to help our patients and communities manage their health needs.”

LPC resources

National press release
This is the press release PSNC sent out to national stakeholders and the media to coincide with the launch of the PwC report, but it may provide guidance or be adapted for local circumstances.

Template press release for LPCs
This document could be used following an MP visit to talk about pharmacy and/or the PwC report.

PSNC Briefing 043/16: The Value of Community Pharmacy – a summary of PwC’s report (September 2016)
This PSNC Briefing summarises the findings from the PwC report. Please note that this summary is intended to summarise the findings for pharmacists; materials for external audiences are being developed.

PwC Tweet templates
Templates for LPCs to use on Twitter to highlight the findings of the PwC report to local politicians and other stakeholders.

Value of pharmacy infographic and references
This one-page infographic has been developed to help get across the key findings from the PwC report in a more easily digestible way. LPCs may wish to use this when speaking to local stakeholders. The references document provides more detail for those who are interested in the research behind the statistics.

Value of pharmacy infographic (white background)
A more printer-friendly version of the above infographic.

Latest PSNC news

View more PSNC news >