A parliamentary discussion on ‘future of Pharmacy’ set for next week at Westminster

Parliamentarians are set to convene and engage in a debate centred around the future of community pharmacies on Sept. 14. This discussion comes at a
critical juncture, with pharmacies confronting unparalleled challenges such as workforce issues, medicine supply, and financial pressures.

The Conservative MP Peter Aldous secured the debate after applying to the Backbench Business Committee. While sharing his concerns with the Committee about
the rising number of pharmacy closures in England, Aldous cautioned that there was a potential risk of approaching a situation akin to ‘pharmacy wastelands.

In July, two dozen parliamentarians, representing various political backgrounds, have jointly written to the Prime Minister expressing concern about the
increasing trend of pharmacy closures. In their letter, signed by MPs and peers, they highlight the potential for further deterioration due to rising business
costs and sustained funding reductions, which have already resulted in numerous closures.

Pharmacy Minister Neil O’Brien recently informed Parliament that there were 222 fewer pharmacies since the beginning of the year. Recent figures from the PSNC
indicate that England has seen the closure of over 639 local pharmacies since 2016.