Beating the Pharmacy Cuts

Business is three lines – income, expenditure, profit. Profit is not a dirty word in business – it is what pays the owner and shareholders or partners, pays for upkeep and development. It is essential for every business to continue trading. It is the same for Dentists, Optometrists, GPs and Community Pharmacists.

If revenue falls, when the majority trading partner (NHS) is short of cash then there are only three options:

  • Accept lower profits
  • Cut overheads
  • Drive alternative income

Everybody in the know understands the sub-text to the cuts. It says to pharmacists “come out from behind the dispensing bench, interact more, used enhanced clinical skills, help people and reduce demand on General Practice – we need you”. It says to owners “develop new services, change the face of community pharmacy and we will support you”.

There have been chances, but the belief that everyone loves you and needs you and that the politicians won’t do this to you has wasted time. If only this money and energy had been directed elsewhere. If only the anger had been channelled away from the – you can’t do this to us – to why haven’t we done this already.

In a few years – when all the good pharmacists have gone to General Practice, owners have cut their expenditure to the bone, pharmacies sell anything and everything like a corner bazzar – what will we say then?

We should have risen to the challenge, created professional clinical retail healthcare environments, implemented proactive clinical community pharmacy practice and acted like a real business.

That’s it – I am packing to go to the Pharmacy Show – come and talk to me on stand PE67 with – one of us might not be there next year


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