The number of distance-selling pharmacies has increased since cuts to English community pharmacy funding were imposed, while the number of bricks and mortar pharmacies has declined.

Sixty-three distance–selling pharmacies opened and none were forced to close between the beginning of the cuts in November 2016 and April 2018, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) told The Pharmacist today (24 May).

This compares to the net closure of 134 bricks and mortar pharmacies – comprising of 156 that closed and 22 that opened – during the same period.

The DHSC warned that the way the data it supplied is collated means that in some cases, pharmacies that relocated or merged with other pharmacies may have been identified as closures.

Pharmacies with local pharmaceutical contracts were not included in the figures supplied by the DHSC because they are ‘funded locally and operate on a separate payment process’, it said.

Fighting the cuts

The sector's fight against the cuts is continuing in court this week as unsuccessful cases brought against the cuts by the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) and the National Pharmacy Association (NPA) are being heard by the Court of Appeal.

See The Pharmacist's coverage of the first day of the appeal cases here.