Part of The Pharmacist’s series of case studies on how the funding cuts are affecting ordinary pharmacists, a London contractor explains what effect they are having on his business
Meir Kattan – owner, Kalmak Chemist, London.
‘Because of our over-the-counter (OTC) trade, it’s been difficult to get an accurate picture of how the cuts are affecting us. Luckily, we have a thriving OTC trade, which has helped to offset some losses.
‘It has also been difficult to quantify the losses as we dispense a large amount of expensive scripts, which sometimes represent more than 25% of the total.
‘But we have noticed the losses by the amount of the cheque that has been lower than previous, with £11,000 difference.
‘Our biggest action was to curtail some deliveries by only delivering to certain areas on a certain day. If an item is requested from the GP and has missed its day, we ask the patient to arrange collection or wait until the following week.
‘Of course if an essential item, such as an antibiotic, is requested we endeavor to deliver it as soon as possible.
‘But this can be difficult as we dispense around 80 rosette boxes per week, which are compliance aids for patients who might have difficulties in remembering what to take on what days and times, most of them destined to be delivered weekly.
‘There is no payment for this except the extra payment we get for weekly scripts. These cost around 30p per dosette plus the extra labour involved in filling these.
‘I think the overall impact of the cuts will gradually get worse as we’re now finding that Category M figures as well as shortages are affecting us much more, especially because it’s always well into the month before we receive the NCSO list from the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC).
‘To be able to supply patients with an item, because of price increase and shortages, we would have a large loss to obtain. Some pharmacies will not supply and claim they can’t obtain but this is breaking our contract.
‘We weren’t able to get any quality payments reimbursements earlier but have done so in November.
‘We see OCT trade as the future if we are to survive as we are now, especially with private services, although these will not cover the losses completely.’
We want to hear your stories about how the cuts are affecting your business. Email email@example.com or tweet us @Pharmacist_News.
More cuts case studies: