Some pharmacy contractors have been contacted by AAH Pharmaceuticals asking them to express their interest in purchasing local LloydsPharmacy branches.

An email, sent by AAH on Friday and seen by The Pharmacist, asks contractors to respond with their postcode to indicate where they would be interested in purchasing a pharmacy branch.

Pharmacist Tas Bhati told The Pharmacist that most of the 200 independent contractors within his IPCN group received the letter.

A spokesperson for LloydsPharmacy did not confirm how many branches the company was looking to sell, but said it ‘regularly reviews its pharmacy estate to ensure it is operating sustainably and any decision to sell stores is taken in the interests of patients, colleagues and the business’.

They added: ‘At all times, patient safety remains our top priority ensuring that our customers and patients are always able to access vital prescriptions, health advice, products and services.’

Leyla Hannbeck, chief executive of the Association of Independent Multiple Pharmacies (AIMp) said that ‘over the coming months, we will know better how this will impact the landscape of community pharmacy’.

She added that the situation demonstrated that ‘the funding for community pharmacy, or lack of it, is now coming up to show itself on a bigger scale.’

Wholesaler AAH and multiple Lloyds Pharmacy are both owned by parent company McKesson UK, which was acquired by private equity firm Aurelius Group.

AAH and Aurelius group have been approached for comment.