Pharmacy Bodies Promote Their Cause With Election Manifesto

Mar 18, 2024

Pharmacy bodies in England are gearing up for the expected General Election this year with the launch of a joint manifesto. Community Pharmacy England reports that the manifesto is designed for anyone who works in the community pharmacy sector to help them effectively engage with political parties and candidates during the election campaign.

The resources will be available via an online hub,, and supported with the social media hashtag #VotePharmacy. 

The pharmacy sector, including physical stores and ecommerce websites, are facing a range of challenges at the moment. These include an ongoing shortage of key medicines due to supply chain issues or sharp changes in demand; and the expanding range of pharmacy services balanced against a shortage of qualified pharmacists.

Many pharmacy bodies argue that the sector is currently underfunded and there is an increasing shortfall between the amount they pay for drugs and the amount they are reimbursed by the NHS. This is in many cases failing to cover the operational costs of pharmacies at a time when they are being asked to take on a broader role in patient care.

For example, pharmacies are now expected to offer a range of services including flu vaccinations and consultations for minor illnesses such as earache, impetigo, infected insect bites, shingles, sinusitis, sore throats, and urinary tract infections. 

They can also offer advice on stopping smoking, cholesterol and blood sugar testing, substance misuse, and advice on managing weight. There is a need for new investment in technology as many pharmacies now offer an online service where patients can manage electronic prescriptions and have remote consultations with staff. 

According to the report, pharmacies in England have been subject to a 30 per cent funding cut since 2015, despite the extra pressures and demands on the service. The manifesto calls for a sustainable funding model for community pharmacies, with greater investment, a safeguarded workforce, and a full review of the medicines supply market.

Janet Morrison, Community Pharmacy England Chief Executive, said: “The General Election campaigning period is always an important moment to highlight community pharmacies – both their value and the critical situation they now find themselves in – and to start to build Parliamentary supporters for the future.” 

She added: “This Manifesto is very much in line with the investment and support that Community Pharmacy England continues to press for and will further help us to do that.”

“We hope that all pharmacy owners, as well as LPCs and other pharmacy owner representatives, will be able to support it and to help us to make community pharmacy’s voice heard ahead of the election.”

Ultimately, the manifesto aims to help England’s pharmacies realise their full potential as hubs for community public health, where they can support the NHS and social care system effectively and tackle the health ‘postcode lottery.’