Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson is shown how to prepare the vaccine by advanced nurse practitioner Sarah Sowden as he visits a Covid-19 vaccination centre in Batley, West Yorkshire, Britain (Photo: Jon Super/Pool via REUTERS)

In a boost to stressed community pharmacies around the UK, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has pledged that his government will reimburse their Covid-19 related costs.

Johnson’s reassurance during his Downing Street press briefing on Wednesday (Feb 10) has come at a time when entire sector is struggling to cope with the persisting virus pandemic and mounting workload.

On the question of whether pharmacies will be reimbursed for their additional costs, he stated:  “On your point about reimbursement, I want to make sure they are reimbursed as soon as possible. They play a vital role in helping us to fight the pandemic as well as providing many other public health needs.”

Johnson added that he doesn’t want to see any pharmacies close as they provide an outstanding resource for the country and its healthcare needs.

Earlier, Johnson was asked about community pharmacies and whether they would have their additional costs from the pandemic reimbursed.

His pledge to support community pharmacies recognises the importance of pharmacy teams during the pandemic, community pharmacists have opined.

“As our update on funding negotiations earlier this week indicated, PSNC wants community pharmacy contractors to be compensated for the full impact that the Covid-19 pandemic has had on their businesses and we are in ongoing dialogue with Ministers on this topic,” the Pharmacies Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) has said responding to the Johnson’s pledge to support community pharmacies.

PSNC Chief Executive Simon Dukes said: “It was encouraging to hear the Prime Minister committing to reimbursing community pharmacies’ Covid-19 costs last night, and this was well timed coming alongside increasing national media coverage of the sector …”

“The negotiations on Covid-19 costs are ongoing and at the heart of them is the question of how great those costs are: this is the difficult discussion that we are having with HM Treasury (HMT) and the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC). We’ll continue to highlight Ministers’ support for the sector in our discussions, but the very positive words of politicians must now lead to the funding outcomes that we need.”

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