The National Pharmacy Association (NPA) has told its members in England to be ‘realistic in [their] expectations’ about the results of the High Court case as the Government’s cuts are part of the 'seismic forces' at play in health and social care.

The legal challenges by the NPA and the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) against the funding package announced by the government last October will be heard at the High Court later this month.

‘The court case rightly raises hopes, but we must be realistic in our expectations,’ NPA chairman, Ian Strachan said.

‘Even if we win our case and the decision to impose cuts is quashed, it can’t be assumed that the cuts will not be brought back to the table at a later date.

‘Tight public finances are a fact of life, and pharmacy cannot avoid the seismic forces playing out across the health and social care system and in society more generally,' he added.

‘You mustn't feel you’re alone'

However, Strachan also told members that this doesn’t mean the sector is 'powerless in the face of change'.

The NPA urged all members who have concerns about current cash flow or the future viability of their pharmacy business to contact the association. ‘You mustn't feel you’re alone, Strachan said. 'Help is just a phone call away.'

SOS hotline

The NPA is inviting its members to contact a new ‘funding SOS’ hotline, in light of the fact that funding cuts are now feeding through to FP34s.

The association says that the depth of the cuts is 'only now becoming apparent' to some contractors and has invited its members to contact the NPA if they have concerns about their finances.

Last month, the NPA launched the Pharmacy Business Planner, a web-based financial simulator that helps independents analyse their new financial position and maintain a 'sustainable bottom line'.

The association has also lowered prices on its top 20 selling pharmacy essential sales items, such as controlled drugs registers.

John Pickford, the NPA’s Commercial Director said: 'Pharmacies need to be on a sustainable footing for the long term – hence the expanding range of NPA business products and services, as well as our ongoing campaigning for adequate public investment in the sector.'

Pharmacy owners are invited to contact [email protected] or call NPA Pharmacy Services on 0330 123 1035.