March â€˜busiest ever month for pharmacyâ€™ NHS data reveals
Pharmacies in England dispensed a record 93 million items in March, NHS BSA data shows, making it the sectorâ€™s busiest ever month.
An analysis of NHS BSA data carried out by the Company Chemistsâ€™ Association found that 92,840,309 items were dispensed in March 2020, up 7.8 million items or 9 per cent from the same period in 2019.
This level of activity â€œrepresents the single busiest month for medicines supply on record,â€ said the CCA, adding that it appears much of the additional workload came in the first half of March before lockdown measures were introduced.
CCA chief executive Malcolm Harrison said: â€œThis data demonstrates how our members had to quickly adapt how they operate to meet the many challenges they have faced since the pandemic began. There was a record increase in demand for medicines in March as people wanted supplies of their regular, and sometimes not so regular, medicines to have in stock at home.â€
Mr Harrison described how community pharmacies went â€œabove and beyond as patients also turned to their local pharmacy when other elements of the NHS became harder to accessâ€.
He said: â€œWeâ€™d now like to see our community pharmacy sector get fair funding from the Government for its work on the frontline of the NHS during the crisis.
â€œCommunity pharmacies have stayed open throughout the pandemic and have needed to pay more for the medicines they supply and cover extra Covid-specific costs, such as providing PPE and extra cleaning.â€
The sector was â€œalready under significant financial pressuresâ€ prior to the crisis and is now in need of immediate support from the Government, Mr Harrison said.