“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”, Guild Chief Executive, Andrew Gaudin says.
“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 says that the effect of the Level Four restrictions are being felt nationwide. Community pharmacies across the country are under a great deal of financial pressure, with mounting costs and falling sales, including prescription dispensing.
“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.
“Once a pharmacy is gone from a local community, they may never come back. And it is their customers, many of whom don’t have other options, that miss out on expert care from their local pharmacy. Local pharmacy owners are doing everything they can to keep staff employed however without urgent financial support to ease the mounting financial strain, it is only a matter of time before pharmacies are forced to close and staff are made redundant,” Gaudin says.
He continues to say that “We (the Pharmacy Guild of New Zealand) will be continuing to strongly advocate with the Government for ongoing financial support to ensure community pharmacies remain viable, are able to deliver safe access to medicines and expert advice and are able to remain the health professional patients see most often.”