‘Pharmageddon’ could close pharmacies as protest spreads
The term ‘Pharmageddon’ has been used to describe the current crisis faced by independent pharmacies in the United Kingdom as the number of independent pharmacies dealing in pharmaceuticals and health products continues to rapidly decrease. The crisis is largely attributed to the reinforcement of corporate control over the pharmaceutical market, and to squeeze out independent pharmacies, leading to their closure.
The government’s decision to increase the cost that independent pharmacies must pay for key medicines, while decreasing the commission that they receive from dispensing them, is causing a further strain on independent pharmacies’ profitability. This has created the opportunity for larger pharmacy chains to come in and dominate the market, limiting consumer choice and reducing access to independent pharmacists’ expertise.
As a result of these circumstances, thousands of independent pharmacies have closed in the UK in recent years. This has been met with widespread protests by independent pharmacists and their communities, who are determined to protect their livelihoods and that of their local communities. Numerous petitions have been circulated with the goal of overturning the government’s decision, and help save the independent pharmacy industry.
The situation is causing a state of ‘Pharmageddon’, as independent pharmacies increasingly become threatened. Unless the government is willing to listen to the protests of pharmacists and their communities, and take greater measures to protect independent pharmacies, their closure could soon become unavoidable.