NPA study will look at impact of runaway inflation on pharmacies

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NPA study will look at impact of runaway inflation on pharmacies

The National Pharmacy Association has commissioned a new report examining the impact that record rates of inflation are having on community pharmacies.

Work is to begin immediately on the ‘cost of doing business’ study, with University College London’s professor David Taylor looking at the impact of inflation in the context of the five-year fixed funding contract in England and how rising costs affect the sector’s ability to gear itself towards a “more clinically focused future,” said the NPA.

Professor Taylor will also review a 2020 study from EY on pharmacy finding and consider whether the current inflationary pressures have any bearing on its findings. 

NPA chief Mark Lyonette said: “Inflationary pressures are eating into the limited funds provided by the NHS for pharmacy services. We believe the real level of inflation for pharmacy businesses could be higher than the CPI inflation rate, which itself is at a 40 year high. Staff and locum costs in the sector as well as medicines costs have risen dramatically.

“Everyone accepts there is a cost of living crisis; it’s time for government and NHS to acknowledge that our members are facing a ‘cost of doing business’ crisis.

“We believe that is standing in the way of service improvements and our ability to engage with a clinical future. 

“By asking a distinguished academic to test our assumptions, we will have credible independent data to present to commissioners and pharmacy negotiators across the UK.

“Naturally we want this to lead to fair and realistic financial settlements for NPA members right across the UK.”

Professor Taylor said: “With GP practices under increasing pressure and their numbers falling, NHS community pharmacy could do more to enhance clinical outcomes in the English primary care system, as it is in other UK nations such as Scotland.

“I am committed to contrasting and analysing community pharmacy funding and developing policies as rigorously as possible from a public interest-based standpoint.”

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