Customers wearing protective face masks are seen leaving a pharmacy in London, Britain, March 4, 2020. REUTERS/Toby Melville

National Association of Primary Care (NAPC) has lent its voice to the growing demand of urgent funding support for pharmacies as the country toughens its approach in the fight against coronavirus.

“With the latest advice for people with symptoms in a household to stay at home for 14 days and the over 70s to be advised to stay indoors for 12 weeks from next weekend, pharmacies need urgent funding now to manage and increase home deliveries and as well as an alternative to a signature as a means of confirming receipt,” the association today said in a communication.

NAPC has also demanded additional funding for community pharmacies to support their business continuity plans, with their local PCNs, and to have shared IT enabling read and write access to patients’ records.

The association has urged the GPs to switch to electronic repeat dispensing as soon as possible. This will reduce the number of patients needing to come into their practice who can collect their prescription straight from their local pharmacy, it noted.

NAPC added that, as an urgent measure, relaxing Pharmaceutical Services Regulations over splitting bulk packs of paracetamol will relieve pressure on demand.

Read More: ‘COVID-19 will have deep impact on pharmacy’

Simon Dukes, chief executive of PSNC, has on Monday called on the government to provide ‘urgent investment’ for the sector, warning that many of the pharmacies, that were on their knees financially before the virus outbreak, may not open again if they have to close after staff getting sick.

Last week, National Pharmacy Association has also called for contingency funding for pharmacies.

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