Photo: JackF (iStock)

Mark Ackland-Snow, the head of pharmacy at Bayer Consumer Health UK, used the Pharmacy Show to urge community pharmacists not to neglect the over-the-counter side to their businesses.

As pharmacy leaders continue to drum home the message that pharmacists across the UK need to focus less on dispensing income and selling medicinal products and more on clinical services, the PSNC pressing the government for a service-based contractual framework in its negotiations, Ackland-Snow said good returns on OTC sales would benefit pharmacies.

“They would go some way to plugging these government cuts,” he told a small gathering of delegates at the show at the NEC in Birmingham.

He said a £50 increase in OTC sales a day equated to a £300 weekly rise and £15,000 annual increase in revenue for pharmacies.

Drawing attention to Bayer’s Business Fit for the Future programme, Ackland-Snow also revealed the results of a survey by the pharmaceutical company revealing that over 60% of pharmacists feel they don’t have the business skills and knowledge needed to run the commercial side of the pharmacy effectively.

One in four pharmacists said they worried about their pharmacy’s profitability and performance targets and 72% saw themselves as a healthcare professional first, business person second, while 82% said they recognised the importance of business skills to the day-to-day running of the pharmacy.

During the survey 68% said they lacked the confidence to manage the commercial aspects of their pharmacy when they were newly-qualified and two in five said they were not comfortable with the selling side of the business.