The Pharmacists’ Defence Association (PDA) has launched a brutal attack on some large pharmacy chains for full or part-day closures of some of their shops throughout the UK.

It published an Open Letter on Tuesday (July 19) demanding urgent action “to protect patients by ensuring that essential community pharmacy services are provided safely and consistently”.

PDA chair Mark Koizol, who wrote the letter, went on to allege that many of those closure were “being orchestrated”.

He wrote that the “pharmacist shortage” narrative cited as a reason for these closures was “very different” from “the reality experienced by our members”, including both employed and locum pharmacists.

“We have evidence to show that these closures are being announced up to four weeks in advance,” Koizol claimed.

He gave examples of how a large company attempted to reduce the pre-agreed rate of locums and where this was not accepted, the shift was cancelled, resulting in the pharmacy being closed for part or full day.

The alleged company blamed it on “national shortage of pharmacists” when it needed to communicate the closure to to the public.

Koizol further alleged that “these closures appear to be caused by commercial considerations, and bring the reputation of the profession into question through this unethical practice.”

The letter has been sent to health secretaries, chief executives of the NHS, NHS chief pharmaceutical officers, and chief executive of pharmacy regulators across the UK.

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