The National Pharmacy Association (NPA) has announced a 'day of action' on 20 June which could see some pharmacies 'turning off the lights' for two hours.

NPA chief executive Paul Rees announced the association's 'One Day to Save Our Pharmacies' initiative this morning and said it hoped to 'show the politicians there's a state of emergency within community pharmacy'.

In a post on X this morning, Mr Rees suggested that community pharmacists could take action including 'turning off the lights for two hours and wearing black'.

Pharmacy teams might also consider blacking out their windows, engaging with patients, inviting parliamentary candidates to visit their pharmacy and using #saveourpharmacies on social media, the NPA added as it shared more detail this afternoon.

The date of 20 June was chosen 'as that is the day from which the average pharmacy across the four nations will be lossmaking overall'.

'There is typically only enough NHS funding to cover costs for the first three weeks of any month – after which the pharmacy service is effectively subsidised by the business,' the NPA said in a statement.

Mr Rees said the 'unprecedented step of organising a UK-wide day of pharmacy protests' was intended 'to highlight the fact that there is a state of emergency within the community pharmacy sector – and draw attention to the growing crisis'.

'Funding for community pharmacy has been squeezed over the last decade and as a result it is now a sector in very real distress,' he said, highlighting pharmacy closures and medicines shortages.

'Pharmacy teams are finding it is increasingly difficult to deliver excellent patient care – and pharmacy teams themselves are suffering from increased stress and demoralisation.

'With the general election in full swing, it is vital that the politicians get the message: that there is now an emergency in our community pharmacy sector.'

The NPA will be holding a webinar for members to learn more about the day of action this Wednesday (5 June) evening at 7.30pm.

The NPA confirmed that it understood the level of anger that had led to call for strike action, but having taken legal advice it was not currently in a position to recommend strike action.

The Pharmacist also understands that the NPA would be reluctant to support any action that impairs patient care.

The move is part of the NPA's wider #SaveOurPharmacies campaign, which has also seen its leaders deliver a £108m invoice to the Department of Health and Social Care - the amount the NPA says is owed to the sector for dispensing at a loss during April.