| Click for the Finfacts Ireland Portal Homepage |

Finfacts Business News Centre

 Irish Economy
 EU Economy
 US Economy
 UK Economy
 Global Economy
 Asia Economy


How to use our RSS feed

Web Finfacts

See Search Box lower down this column for searches of Finfacts news pages. Where there may be the odd special character missing from an older page, it's a problem that developed when Interactive Tools upgraded to a new content management system.


Finfacts is Ireland's leading business information site and you are in its business news section.

We provide access to live business television and business related videos from: Bloomberg TV; The Wall Street Journal; CNBC and the Financial Times. Click image:


Finfacts Homepage

Irish Share Prices

Euribor Daily Rates

Irish Economy

Global Income Per Capita

Global Cost of Living

Irish Tax 2008

Climate Change Reports

Global News

Bloomberg News

CNN Money

Cnet Tech News


Irish Independent

Irish Times

Irish Examiner

New York Times

Financial Times

Technology News




Content Management by interactivetools.com.

News : Irish Last Updated: Apr 24, 2009 - 5:31:05 PM

Pharmacy survey suggests over 300 Irish pharmacies "could" close as a result of threatened HSE cuts in payment; State payments have jumped from €332 million in 1997 to €1.5 billion in 2006
By Finfacts Team
Feb 12, 2008 - 3:03:12 PM

Email this article
 Printer friendly page

Claim that almost 5,000 job losses expected in pharmacies if changes pursued without agreement

Over 300 pharmacies across the country could close as a result of HSE (Health Service Executive) plans to push through reductions in payments to pharmacists for providing medicines to patients on the community drugs schemes. This is according to results of a major survey of pharmacists, which was presented today by the Irish Pharmacy Union (IPU) to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children.

Speaking today at the Oireachtas Committee, Michael Guckian, President of the IPUsaid the survey highlighted the extent of the crisis now threatening the sector; “if the HSE is allowed to force through these proposals, hundreds of pharmacies will close, thousands of jobs will be lost and patient care will suffer.”

According to Guckian, the HSE is abusing its position, as the dominant customer of independent pharmacies, to push through changes without agreement. Guckian called for an independent body to be established to review the current situation and to make recommendations on appropriate payment for pharmacists.

Key findings of the survey, which was completed by over 700 pharmacists across the country, include:

  • Over 20% of respondents feared that implementation of the HSE proposals could result in the permanent closure of their pharmacy.

  • 55% of respondents said that they would have to reduce opening hours if the proposals are implemented.

  • 89% of respondents indicated that they would have to let staff go with an estimated 2,500 jobs being lost across the pharmacy sector. This figure amounts to almost 5,000 when pharmacy closures are accounted for.

  • 87% of respondents indicated that waiting times for customers were likely to increase due to reduced staffing levels.

The survey was undertaken against a background of increasing fears amongst pharmacists at the threatened imposition of a new contract between the HSE and independent pharmacists, which has not been discussed or agreed with the Union.

At the nub of the issue is the proposal by the HSE to reduce the payments made to pharmacists on the community drugs schemes – even where the new payment to pharmacists would be less than what it costs the pharmacist to purchase the medication from their suppliers – effectively destroying the economic basis of the business.

In the survey, 58% of pharmacists who currently provide screening services for diabetes, blood pressure and cholesterol said that they would have to discontinue such services; 80% said they would be forced to discontinue the provision of special medication packs for patients, who have difficulty taking their medicines; while more than two-thirds said that they would have to discontinue out of hours services.

Ross Hattaway, manager of the corporate pharmaceutical unit of the HSE, told the Irish Times last month that pharmacists' income would fall because the HSE is determined to stop paying fees to pharmacists based on the price of items dispensed - on some schemes pharmacists are paid a 50% mark-up - and because the price of drugs being dispensed will fall following an agreement between the HSE and drug manufacturers.

He also said that if some pharmacists get into financial difficulty it would be because they have "overextended themselves" by buying overpriced businesses or by agreeing to pay very high rents in new shopping complexes. "We want to separate income from commodity price - we will pay a professional fee for a professional service," Hattaway said.

He said pharmacists' incomes have been rising because they have been linked to the price of drugs which has been "increasing exponentially".

The HSE is trying to reduce an escalating drugs bill - up from €332 million in 1997 to €1.5 billion in 2006. It says it can save €100 million per year by introducing reduced reimbursement rates for pharmacists. These reduced rates were originally due to be introduced on December 1st.

© Copyright 2009 by Finfacts.com

Top of Page

Latest Headlines
Ryanair revises up full-year profit guidance
AIB bank profitable in third quarter
Ryanair announces half-year profits up 32% to €795m
Ryanair benefits from improved customer service
Ryanair to buy 100 new Boeing 737 MAX 200
Finfacts server migration Thursday
State-owned Allied Irish Banks reports H1 2014 profit as bad loan charges plunge
Ryanair reports profit in its financial first quarter soared 152%
UK firm opens van dealership in Dublin
Ryanair reports 8% fall in full-year profit; US services to commence in 2019
Global Financial Centres Index: New York overtakes London; Dublin slips to 66 of 83 cities
Bank of Ireland reports “significant” improvement in 2013 results
Sale process of IBRC UK projects Rock and Salt completed
CRH says 2014 will be year of profit growth after reporting 2013 loss
Ryanair reports third-quarter loss
Irish Water says it saved €100m in setup costs
RSA Insurance fires two Irish executives for large loss/ accounting irregularities
Bank of Ireland will have to raise provisions by €1.4bn; AIB says it's "well capitalised"
CRH reports slightly improved third quarter
Central Bank says ownership of Newbridge Credit Union transferred to permanent tsb
Ryanair reports H1 profits rose by 1% to €602m
Dublin Web Summit: Irish Stock Exchange and NASDAQ OMX announce dual listing plan
Irish pension managed funds returned to growth during September
Dan O’Brien resigns as economics editor of The Irish Times
Central Bank says no action required on Anglo tapes revelations
Ryanair flew 9m passengers and Aer Lingus carried 1.1m in August
UK Competition Commission says Ryanair must cut Aer Lingus stake to 5%
CRH reports H1 2013 revenue dip and loss
Vodafone refunded UK after discovery of Irish tax haven deal
RBS reports half year profit; Ulster Bank posts reduced loss
Bank of Ireland cuts pretax losses in HI 2013 to €504m
Irish State-owned Allied Irish Banks reports losses of €758m in H1 2013
Service Announcement
Irish managed pension funds declined in June
VHI reports 2012 surplus of €54.3m; Health insurance made loss
Ex- Elan director says management / board "not competent to run a business"
Aer Lingus to put €140m in employees pensions fund; Ryanair apoplectic
Wednesday Newspaper Review - Irish Business News and International Stories - - May 22, 2013
Tuesday Newspaper Review - Irish Business News and International Stories - - May 21, 2013
Ryanair, Europe’s biggest low cost carrier, announced Monday record annual profits of €569m - - up 13%