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NPA Warns That Pharmacy Closures Are At Record High Levels

The National Pharmacy Association (NPA) has warned of ‘skyrocketing’ levels of pharmacy closures this year.

New analysis by the NPA, which represents independent community pharmacies across the UK, has found the number of pharmacies closing this year is nearly 50 per cent higher compared to the same stage in 2023 – which itself was the worst year in living memory.

The NPA said today rising costs and declining real terms funding is resulting in the fastest rate of closures in decades – with real terms funding having decreased by 40 per cent over the last decade.

Analysis of NHS figures by the NPA has found that:

– Between January and April 2024, 177 pharmacies have closed, compared to 116 in the same time period in 2023. This is the equivalent to 10 local pharmacies closing their doors every week so far this year.

– 403 pharmacies closed their doors last year, nearly 5 times higher than the number that closed in 2022.

– Over 1,400 pharmacies have closed in the UK since 2017.

As the Government looks to implement its flagship new Pharmacy First initiative in England, the NPA are warning that many pharmacies are running out of options to stay afloat and will have to close their doors permanently without a real terms funding increase.

The National Pharmacy Association is calling for the Government to provide a new deal for pharmacies that fills growing funding gaps, stabilises the network and stops the closures.

 

 
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