Boris Johnson under fire over pharmacy Covid debt crisis – ‘Keep your promise!’
Matt Hancock announces trial of coronavirus booster vaccines
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Research by the National Pharmacy Association (NPA) found 72 percent of community pharmacies are on track to be in debt by 2024.
The NPA is urging Mr Johnson to wave debt on the £370 million in loans the industry received during the Covid-19 pandemic.
To highlight its concern the association sent campaign vans to Westminster and Uxbridge, the Prime Minister’s west London constituency.
They feature a quote from Mr Johnson in which he states “I don’t want any pharmacies to close”.
This is accompanied by the caption: “Boris, we need action, not words. Keep your promise.”
Andrew Lane, NPA chair, commented: “We’ve come to remind the PM that he’s made a promise to community pharmacies in this constituency and across England to reimburse the extra costs that they have borne during the pandemic.
“Pharmacy teams everywhere have risen to the challenge of staying open and continuing to see patients, even while other parts of the health system went behind closed-doors.
“Now they are also part of the must-win battle to vaccinate the population against coronavirus, and the latest phase of test and trace.
“Failure to reimburse community pharmacies for the costs of coronavirus would be a slap in the face for the people working so hard in this essential part of the NHS.
“We need government to make good on commitments to meet all the additional costs associated with coronavirus and also address long term underfunding – so that pharmacies can stay open to keep people well and save lives.”
In February Mr Johnson was asked about reimbursing community pharmacies by a reporter from The Pharmaceutical Journal.
He replied: “I don’t want to see any pharmacies close.
“I think community pharmacies provide an absolutely outstanding resource for our country and its healthcare needs.
“It’s a very good environment to get a lot of good things done to protect the public, so on your point about reimbursement, I will want to make sure they are reimbursed as soon as possible.”
“They play a vital role in helping us to fight the pandemic and many, many other public health needs.”
The UK has recorded over 128,000 coronavirus related deaths since the crisis began.
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