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RE: NHS ‘efficiency’ plans for sector ‘sent a chill’ through pharmacists

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  • RE: NHS ‘efficiency’ plans for sector ‘sent a chill’ through pharmacists

    Not sure if anyone reads C&D much but found this article concerning NHS seeking more efficiency from community pharmacy at this rate all pharmacies will have to become automated and operated via remote supervision.

    https://www.chemistanddruggist.co.uk...gh-pharmacists

    What does anyone else make of this? I personally feel really sorry for the people who have a pharmacy.

  • #2
    Remote supervision will be the thing this year as having to employing a pharmacist in every 'store' is a drag on profits.
    47 BC : Julius Cesar : Veni Vidi Vici : I came, I saw I conquered.
    2018 AD : Modern Man : I shopped, I clicked, I collected.
    How times change.

    If you find you have read something that has upset or offended you an anyway please unread it at once.

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    • #3
      A new article appeared this morning, but isn't any more illuminating.

      It's mostly a load of vague digital talk about all the online things the NHS should have been doing 5/10/15 years ago and will probably still not be getting round to fully rolled out in another 5/10/15 years (I'm sure some bits of the NHS will get them quickly, others not).

      This paragraph, one of the few where pharmacy is directly mentioned made me laugh

      If needed they will be able to be connected with their local services; get an appointment with an urgent treatment centre, out of hours services or GP, or be prescribed medicine to be collected from their nearest pharmacy. Increasingly, automated systems and AI will make these services smarter, but in-person services will always be there to do what computers can’t and provide personal contact for those who need or want it.
      Yes in person services will always be there, pharmacy, pharmacy, pharmacy as the real people will only be on a phone or AI. Oh except a lot of pharmacies are going to close as the NHS can't afford to pay pharmacy a sustainable funding model.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by mcitr View Post
        Oh except a lot of pharmacies are going to close as the NHS can't afford to pay pharmacy a sustainable funding model.
        I was having a conversation with my brother about this, he and I have ongoing plans to buy our own pharmacy but the topic of funding cuts and a shaky future for the pharmacy sector often comes up.

        I summed it up for him. Decades of mismanagement has led to the current pitiful state of public services across the UK, with the devolved countries with their devolved healthcare somewhat better off. I surmised that, for some reason, the situation is better in the rest of Europe and they have a lot of good ideas that are well implemented. In contrast, successful governments in the UK seem intent on doing things on the cheap, pursuing digital solutions and just being really short sighted.

        Are the general policies of EU countries just more coherent? Is the UK in such a state because politics have become too tribal/american?

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by kl06229 View Post

          I was having a conversation with my brother about this, he and I have ongoing plans to buy our own pharmacy but the topic of funding cuts and a shaky future for the pharmacy sector often comes up.

          I summed it up for him. Decades of mismanagement has led to the current pitiful state of public services across the UK, with the devolved countries with their devolved healthcare somewhat better off. I surmised that, for some reason, the situation is better in the rest of Europe and they have a lot of good ideas that are well implemented. In contrast, successful governments in the UK seem intent on doing things on the cheap, pursuing digital solutions and just being really short sighted.

          Are the general policies of EU countries just more coherent? Is the UK in such a state because politics have become too tribal/american?
          Sadly in the UK we have a culture of something for nothing and a healthcare system under constant siege from politics.

          Politicians make crazy promises to the unrealistic public and fail to deliver them. The only way forward for the healthcare system is to operate outside of government short term influence and focus on long term projects. For example the NHS really needs to plan for replacing healthcare staff 10 to 20 years ahead not make knee jerk reaction to staff crisis which is innevitable, i.e. all those doctors and nurses who began working for NHS in the 70s and 80s have retired or coming to retirement. Bottleneck situation creates expensive recrutiment exercies.

          The NHS also needs to create a more disciplined healthcare policy i.e. prevention is more imperative than treating illnesses which were the government can assist i.e. tax food with high fat or sugar content ban buy one get one free and heavily tax the whole supply chain involved in cheap but unhealthy food production. The same can be said for the cheap alcohol industry why not tax all aspects of the industry including the supply chain. Over time it will shift the consumption culture look at the 5p bag rule has done it has curtailed the usage of bag from customer. According to one daily telegraph article I read some £16 billion was spent on obesity related illness. This highlights a fundamental problem with NHS.

          As for pharmacy I think the old model is finished we don't make extemporaneous preparation, we have an extremely efficient postal delivery system and thanks to smart phone and internet apps can do so many things pharmacies did at a fraction of cost that bricks and mortar pharmacy has slid to the bottom of priority list. The only places warrants pharmacy are rural location where good internet and efficient supply chain is to cost prohibitive to set up that having a physical pharmacy delivering services is the only way possible. I know it sounds depressing but that's the reality of it. In Europe pharmacies are protected because all OTC medicines in most Western European countries can only be purchased from pharmacies (but things might have changed as I am talking about 2016 the last time I checked).

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          • #6
            Originally posted by jzd4rma View Post

            As for pharmacy I think the old model is finished we don't make extemporaneous preparation, we have an extremely efficient postal delivery system and thanks to smart phone and internet apps can do so many things pharmacies did at a fraction of cost that bricks and mortar pharmacy has slid to the bottom of priority list. The only places warrants pharmacy are rural location where good internet and efficient supply chain is to cost prohibitive to set up that having a physical pharmacy delivering services is the only way possible. I know it sounds depressing but that's the reality of it. In Europe pharmacies are protected because all OTC medicines in most Western European countries can only be purchased from pharmacies (but things might have changed as I am talking about 2016 the last time I checked).
            I think it's not only stuff is protected 'parapharmacies' and pharmacies, but also the pricing. In Italy there either isn't the supply chain efficiencies or the mark up on some medications and supplements is very generous compared to here. We have the same problem here, the pharmacy medications are often cheaper than the GSLs which can what a fair old generous profit on. Take stuff like bronchostop that people are obsessed about buying in this country.

            I don't like the phrase something for nothing, but I do think this sums up pharmacy. People are flocking to us trying to get us to sort out their problems for them and we don't get paid a penny for any of them. It's the culture of the savvy consumer where people define themselves as being 'smart' and 'savvy' for getting item x for 5p cheaper from crapola inc, no matter the fuel burned to get that 5p saving or to hell with the social cost and anything else. It's not so much the internet but this pure unadulterated consumer culture.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by mcitr View Post

              I think it's not only stuff is protected 'parapharmacies' and pharmacies, but also the pricing. In Italy there either isn't the supply chain efficiencies or the mark up on some medications and supplements is very generous compared to here. We have the same problem here, the pharmacy medications are often cheaper than the GSLs which can what a fair old generous profit on. Take stuff like bronchostop that people are obsessed about buying in this country.

              I don't like the phrase something for nothing, but I do think this sums up pharmacy. People are flocking to us trying to get us to sort out their problems for them and we don't get paid a penny for any of them. It's the culture of the savvy consumer where people define themselves as being 'smart' and 'savvy' for getting item x for 5p cheaper from crapola inc, no matter the fuel burned to get that 5p saving or to hell with the social cost and anything else. It's not so much the internet but this pure unadulterated consumer culture.
              In a nutshell community pharmacy model is broken and the UK retail model is not commercially sustainable which exarcebates the problem. What the public fail to realise is that when consumer demands lower prices they are effectively removing the profit margin of someone in the supply chain whether it is the manufacturer, wholesaler, retailer or staff. Unfortunately the staff is often sacrified at the alter to give lower price to the consumer. This incidently weaknes the economy because it reduces the spending power of the workforce.

              I recall watching a BBC documentary on Amazon and in France the government have tried to ward this threat off through the Lang Law. This allows high quality independent publishers to thrive and bookshops which provides jobs and acts as a means to sustain the creation of quality books. The closest thing we have in the UK is Daunt books. Unfortunately the consumer culture in UK has shifted so much I fear it is impossible to repair on a national basis unlike in France, Germany and Nordic countries which have a strong emphasis on quality not quantity.


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