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Pharmacy owner hits out at Government over subsidy cuts

A pharmacy owner has branded the Government ‘shortsighted’ after it announced it will move ahead with plans to cut a subsidy to rural pharmacies worth hundreds of millions a year.

Estimates of how many pharmacies could eventually close across England as a result of the cuts vary, but Dept of Health ministers and officials have said up to 3,000 – a quarter of all pharmacies in the country.

There are 20 pharmacies in the Maidenhead constituency, the majority of which are independents.

Olivier Picard, who owns Newdays Pharmacy, in Twyford Road, said: “My pharmacy is no longer getting subsidies from the government and has no way of recuperating that. If the government continues making cuts we’re going to be in a difficult position.”

A spokesman for the National Pharmacy Association (NPA) said that smaller (those dispensing fewer medicines) and independent pharmacies are heavily geared to NHS activity, so cuts to public funding will have a big impact.

Mr Picard said: “I’m afraid the government is shortsighted.

“It comes at a time when NHS England and Jeremy Hunt are telling people to go to their pharmacy but then they’re cutting funding.

“I would like to be seen as part of solution instead of part of the problem, pharmacies have the potential to reduce costs.”

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