Part of The Pharmacist’s series of case studies on how funding cuts are affecting ordinary pharmacists, a Blackburn pharmacist who owns two pharmacies explains what effect they are having on her business

Moonira Hinglotwala – pharmacist and director of Riaz Pharmacy and Granville Road Pharmacy, Blackburn

‘The impact of the shortages has been worse than expected because every pharmacy’s turnover in Blackburn is going down.

‘Our turnover is quite stable. It is going down but not as much as other pharmacies. I’d say it has dropped by 20-30%, but definitely 20%.

‘Our prescription numbers have come down too. You’re not making as much of a profit as maybe five to 10 years ago. Also, you’ve got to invest in your staff so they know what advice they’re giving and are up-to-date with all their training.

‘To do that, you need to put more money into them. It’s all down to costs and expenses.

‘We had to be tighter on our budget and try to cut the effects of the cuts somehow. What we’ve done is made the staff more efficient. We had to reduce hours, cut back double cover and try to cut down on losses in different areas to be more efficient. We don’t keep as many expensive medications and products as we used to.

‘We tried not to make anyone redundant because at the end of the day it’s their jobs and they depend on them.

‘At the same time, a lot of doctors are telling some patients to go to pharmacies to buy something or cut down on their main medications. It’s more of a burden on the NHS because there are going to be different conditions affected if not treated correctly.

‘The NHS is trying to save money in the short term but it’s going to cost it even more in the long-term for certain conditions, healthcare wise.

‘It’s scary. I didn’t think it would get this bad this quickly. Things need to change. We can’t keep going the way it is now otherwise we’re going to be in trouble.

‘At the moment, the future looks quite bleak for community pharmacy. It seems like the NHS and the Government are just cutting back funds and don’t want to pay for anything but want us to work more than what we have been doing.’

We want to hear your stories about how the cuts are affecting your business. Email [email protected] or tweet us @Pharmacist_News.