Irish Pharmacy Union urges all election candidates to Support Community Pharmacy.

The Irish Pharmacy Union (IPU) has today called on all election candidates to support the future of community pharmacy by committing to supporting the sector, if elected.

The IPU is calling for properly resourced pharmacy services in order to deliver better health outcomes, put the patient first, build a health service for the future and keep pharmacies at the heart of the community.

The IPU is the primary pharmacy representative body in Ireland with over 2,300 individual members working in more than 1,800 community pharmacies.

Speaking today, the Secretary General of the IPU Darragh O’Loughlin said “Whatever the make-up of the next Government, community pharmacists want to see meaningful delivery on promises that have been made to properly resource pharmacy services to deliver better health outcomes, put the patient first, build a health service for the future and keep pharmacies at the heart of the community”.

“Pharmacists the length and breadth of this country have made enormous sacrifices over the years in aiding Ireland’s economic recovery. Between 2009 and 2018, the State extracted a total of €3.8 billion from the medicines bill through a combination of reduced medicine reimbursements and cuts to pharmacy fees. FEMPI cuts in pharmacy funding alone accounted for €1.54 billion; consisting of €603 million in cuts to dispensing fees and mark-ups and €939 million in cuts to the distribution margin/ingredient cost. This was a lot for frontline health services to absorb; nevertheless pharmacies continue to deliver the same high standards for Irish patients”.

“We have listened to commitments time and again, but what we need now is action. The next government has a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate their vision for health and meaningfully deal with the issues currently overburdening the system. Investing in community health services and expanding the role of pharmacy makes sense, and our members are ready and willing to play their part”.

“While delays, waiting lists and queues have defined A&Es and GP surgeries all around the country I am appealing to the next Government that Irish pharmacists are willing to work with them to ensure a positive legacy in health and help overcome some of the challenges which have regrettably become the new norm”.