During Prime Minister’s Question Time today David Cameron was asked a question on the cut in community pharmacy funding. The transcript is below, in which the PM alludes to community pharmacy not being a part of the NHS front line. He also alludes to large payments to community pharmacy in the past five years which couldn’t be categorised as value for money:
Sue Hayman (Lab, Workington): Mr Speaker, more than 2,000 people have signed a petition, started by Alison’s Chemist in Cockermouth in my constituency, calling on the Government not to cut the funding of community pharmacies [murmurs of agreement from Lab benches]. Given the media reports last week regarding the actions of Boots, who now face investigation by the regulator, isn’t it time the Prime Minister and his Government supported independent pharmacies like Alison’s more [more Labour agreement], which are a vital lifeline for our community and help to keep our high streets alive?
The Prime Minister: We are supporting rural pharmacies, there’s a specific scheme to help there, but if we look at the last five years there was a massive increase in pharmacy spending, and as we make sure that as much of the NHS resources go to the front line, the doctors, and the nurses, and the operations, and the A&E that we want to see carried out, then we have got to make sure we are getting value for money in pharmacy, while at the same time protecting the rural pharmacies that she speaks about.
The question and answer can be seen below.