The Pharmacy Guild of New Zealand has pleaded that community pharmacies around the country will be forced to close their doors if the government does not financially support them.
“Many of our member pharmacies are doing it very tough despite being a vital part of the Covid-19 response as well as the wider primary health care sector,” explained Guild Chief Executive, Andrew Gaudin.
"Our pharmacists and their teams are delivering an essential service in very testing circumstances due to Covid-19 but the simple fact is their businesses are facing increasing costs and falling sales.”
Gaudin went on to explain that prescription dispensing and retail sales are plummeting due to the Alert Level 4 restrictions. Pharmacies rely on retail sales to make their businesses work financially.
The guild has expressed the need for government to step in and help these essential business so they can keep delivering the services communities so desperately need.
“If this doesn’t happen, some of our member pharmacies will be forced to close, just when they are needed more than ever,” stated Gaudin.
“Pharmacies offer a range of services and expertise to their customers from dispensing prescriptions to giving expert advice and administering flu vaccinations. These pharmacies are a vital part of their local community, but the numbers don’t stack up.”
The guild explained that once a pharmacy is gone from a local community, it may never come back. Reiterating that it is their customers, many of whom don’t have other options, that will miss out on expert care from their local pharmacy.
“It is good to see that the government is looking to help general practices through these times, but this support needs to be extended to another vital part of the primary health care sector: community pharmacy.”