The independent pharmacy representative body has gathered over one million signatures protesting against the cuts and it is presenting these to the Government at the end of May.
The NPA sees it as a long term battle to win hearts and minds to demonstrate the value of community pharmacy, and it will be looking to further mobilise public support. The NPA says that it will not just argue to the government that it does not like what is on the table, but it needs to set out an alternative vision for evolution and improvement.
The proposed cuts to pharmacy are concerning to the pharmacy profession and to the public. Pharmacy provides a valuable and cost effective service at keeping people away from more costly care, in a friendly and approachable setting. They make a big difference to improving the nation's health.
The NPA has worked extremely hard to mobilise support from the public in the last few months, but will it be enough as the government seems intent on making the cuts and changes?
The NPA is right when it says pharmacy needs it set out an alternative vision. Pharmacy must change and provide more clinical services and interact with others involved in the treatment of patients, such as GPs.
The question is whether the government will want to work with pharmacy to be able to do that, or whether it will simply want to cut the profession back. Time will tell. In the meantime, it is important that pharmacy puts its best positive foot forward and speak with one voice.