Welcome to State of Pharmacy, the annual survey where pharmacists share their views on what it’s like running a pharmacy today. The inaugural report dives into the pressing issues facing pharmacy, including the new government contract, funding cuts and Brexit.
We surveyed over 100 hundred pharmacists across the UK, collecting 2,750+ data points to build an accurate snapshot of pharmacy in 2020. We have enlisted key pharmacy stakeholders to share their expertise and insights on the future of pharmacy as we begin a new decade.
Pharmacists believe gross margins are being squeezed
This was followed by adapting to the new five-year NHS pharmacy contract (22%) and competition from online pharmacies. (13%)
Many pharmacies are struggling because of a combination of squeezed funding, medicines shortages and inflated prices.
Mark LyonetteCEO of the NPA
believe the biggest threat in 2020 is tighter gross margins
believe the biggest threat in 2020 is adapting to the new 5-year NHS contract
Brexit concerns weigh on pharmacists across the UK
87% say they are concerned about the supply of medicine, with 42% considering stockpiling drugs in preparation.
39% of pharmacists expect their teams to shrink after Brexit, while 55% predict they will stay the same. Only 6% expect their teams to increase after Brexit.
Pharmacies need to be aware of the potential impact. I believe the main issues will almost certainly centre around more shortages and the impact on patients.
Phil GaltMD at Lindsay & Gilmour Pharmacy Group
say they’re concerned about medical supply
believe Brexit will impact their pharmacy
Pharmacists turn to private prescriptions as NHS revenue shrinks
82% of pharmacists expressed an interest in offering private doctor consultations from their pharmacy.
One pharmacist in England said reducing NHS revenue "will need to be converted into private services revenue to survive".
say they hope to dispense more private prescriptions believe Brexit will impact their pharmacy
Prescription delivery set to become widespread
Of those who are set to offer prescription delivery, 8 in 10 say they will offer it for free.
Pharmacies are offering services such as free home delivery in an attempt to preserve market share. They have to compete with not only community pharmacies, but also online pharmacies who offer free delivery.
Dr Zubair AhmedCEO of Medicspot
say they plan on offering prescription delivery
More pharmacies are set to close in 2020
98% of pharmacists think that this trend will continue in 2020 and more pharmacies will be forced to close.
Only 8% of pharmacists believe that now is a good time to open a new pharmacy.
think this trend will continue in 2020
pharmacies were shut down in the past 2 years
Pharmacies need to have a digital presence
66% take advantage of services like Google Maps, 65% have their own website and 63% use social media to promote their pharmacy.
Almost four in ten (37%) have tried using online advertising to reach new customers.
Independent pharmacists should use online advertising to promote their pharmacy. It's a no brainer. It works.
Saam AliCEO of Pharmacy Mentor
have their own website
use social media to promote their pharmacy
Pharmacists are embracing e-commerce
78% of pharmacists predict it is 'very important' to adopt new technologies in their pharmacy in 2020.
say they will sell products and services online
predict it is ‘very important’ to adopt new technologies
More public awareness is needed
73% of pharmacists believe the public are unaware of their capabilities.
think this trend will continue in 2020
Pharmacists fear the new government contract will decrease revenue
Across the UK, 40% of pharmacists say the services commissioned by their local commissioner are decreasing, and only 11% of pharmacists think they are increasing.
61% of pharmacists think additional commissioned services won't make up for revenue lost from MURs being decommissioned.
Community pharmacy needs to have a plan for the changing environment, the changing demands of patients, and the changing commissioning environment.
Sanjay GanvirDirector at Green Light Pharmacy group
feel their revenue will decrease as a result of the new government contract
think additional commissioned services won’t make up for revenue lost
More training required for NHS consultations
However, 52% of pharmacists say they have not had enough clinical training to deliver the service.
say they’ve not had enough clinical training to deliver the service
The NHS CPCS sees pharmacies earning £14 per consutation