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Over half of country’s the pharmacists have positive outlook about their business prospects in 2021, a latest survey showed on Tuesday (Jan 26).

Business property adviser – Christie & Co – in its ‘Business Outlook 2021: Review. Realign. Recover,’ noted that the pharmacy market will remain strong throughout 2021 as the vaccination drive continues to roll out in community pharmacies across the country strengthens the market further.

Over 50 per cent of pharmacists said they are feeling positive about their business recovery this year, with 62.1 per cent feeling that the sector will take less than a year to return to pre-Covid levels.

The study also found that 73 per cent of pharmacists consider that there are opportunities within the sector.

Just over 38 per cent of the pharmacists surveyed said that they are looking to sell their business in 2021, whereas 29 per cent said they are looking to acquire a business or additional pharmacy this year.

“The survey responses underpin the current levels of confidence in the pharmacy sector and evoke optimism in the New Year,” the survey report noted.

When asked to measure the impact that Covid-19 has had on their pharmacy businesses, 36.4 per cent pharmacists said that the pandemic had a positive impact. However, 33.3 per cent of the respondents said that the pandemic adversely impacted their business.

The remaining 24.2 per cent said that the virus has had a low impact, and just 6.1 per cent stated it didn’t impact them at all. “This mix of responses is likely due to pharmacies remaining open and the result of how they adapted to the increasing challenges faced,” the report said.

Tony Evans, head of pharmacy at Christie & Co, said: “After what can only be described as a turbulent year, pharmacy responded well to the challenges the pandemic delivered. In doing so, many were quick to realise not only the important role pharmacy plays in the delivery of primary care, but also the opportunity to extend the services the sector can offer. Our sales activity is testimony to the continued appetite and confidence we have seen and bodes well for a healthy market in 2021.”

Meanwhile, the survey recorded strong levels of buyer interest in the pharmacy sector throughout 2020, both from existing operators looking to expand their activities and first-time buyers still keen to acquire.

This buyers’ interest resulted in a 14 per cent increase in completions and a 9.5 per cent increase in sales agreed compared with 2019, the survey revealed.

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