Contrary to Graham Phillips’s view (
The Pharmaceutical Journal 2015;294:116), I do not believe community pharmacy is going to save the NHS. The NHS is a customer. It buys services from community pharmacies which are businesses operating purely for profit. Ask the multiples, supermarkets and the merchant class that control vast areas of community pharmacy if they are there to save the NHS or to generate profits for their owners or shareholders.
Through the system of rational distribution community pharmacy is a closed shop protected by the NHS. This has put enormous power in the hands of the pharmacy establishment which is not really in the interests of the general public or the NHS.
Moreover, how can community pharmacists provide accident and emergency services? Do pharmacists have the skills to do this and what access will the public have? At the moment, without an enormous amount of investment, this is a no-go.