Rowlands acquires 30 LloydsPharmacy branches in Scotland

The acquisition follows LloydsPharmacy's previous announcement of the closure of its stores based in Sainsbury's supermarkets.
rowlands pharmacy shopfront

LloydsPharmacy has announced that it has sold 30 of its branches in Scotland to multiple Rowlands Pharmacy.

In a statement published on 24 May 2023, Nigel Swift, managing director of Rowlands Pharmacy, said that its pharmacy network in Scotland “has expanded significantly to include 30 branches formerly operated by LloydsPharmacy”.

The additional branches will bring the number of Rowlands pharmacies to 70 in Scotland.

The acquisition comes after LloydsPharmacy announced in January 2023 that it plans to withdraw pharmacy services from Sainsbury’s supermarkets in 2023, following a “strategic review of its operations in response to changing market conditions”.

LloydsPharmacy was one of several multiples to announce the closure of supermarket-based pharmacies this year, with Asda and Tesco also announcing closures in 2023. An analysis by The Pharmaceutical Journal revealed this could displace nearly 1 million patient prescriptions to surrounding contractors.

Commenting on the acquisition by Rowlands Pharmacy, Swift said: “For many years, the Scottish government has supported community pharmacy at the forefront of providing NHS care, which people want, need and value. That commitment has delivered for patients and the NHS.

“We are investing in Scotland in the expectation that support from the Scottish government will continue in the years ahead to recognise the critical role of community pharmacy at the beating heart of healthcare provision, from illness prevention through to long-term condition management.”

Swift added that Rowlands pharmacies in England “welcome the proposed investment of £645m to provide more patient services over the next two years, but share widely expressed concerns this may not be sufficient to halt the current rate of closures and mergers”.

In September 2022, the National Pharmacy Association published a report warning that, without additional government funding, thousands of pharmacies are at risk of closure in the coming years.

However, the government announced plans to invest £645m in community pharmacy in England over two years to launch a ‘Pharmacy First’ service, enabling pharmacists to supply medicines for seven minor ailments using patient group directions. The money will also be used to expand the NHS Pharmacy Contraception and NHS Hypertension Case-Finding services.

An NHS ‘Pharmacy First’ service launched in Scotland in July 2020, offering patients the opportunity to visit a pharmacist as their first port of call for minor illnesses, such as urinary tract infections, impetigo and acne.   

The Pharmaceutical Journal has approached LloydsPharmacy for comment.

Last updated
The Pharmaceutical Journal, PJ, May 2023, Vol 310, No 7973;310(7973)::DOI:10.1211/PJ.2023.1.186737

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