Dispensing at a loss has been raised in a Welsh Conservatives debate on ‘supporting pharmacies’.
In the debate Joel James, Senedd member for South Wales Central, highlighted that the purchase prices of certain antidepressants and hormone replacement products are outstripping the amount the NHS pays the pharmacy for them. He said: “Unfortunately, this is having major implications, because it reduces the money available for pharmacies to reinvest in services, to pay their staff better wages, and it also creates a possibility that pharmacies may not be able to afford to dispense these drugs.”
In his speech, he noted that smaller independent practices were at greater risk of closing.
Challenging the minister to respond, he said: “Given the potential knock-on effects of dispensing at a loss, it would be pertinent to know if this Government has any plans to support these pharmacies financially when they’re exposed to these significantly higher drug costs.”
In response, Sam Rowlands, Senedd member for North Wales, said that for pharmacies, national clinical services would alleviate some of the pressures.
The debate also noted the forthcoming pilot of the Electronic Prescription Service in Wales.