The main representative body for pharmacies has urged the Government to take decisive action on high business costs, in a bid to safeguard against closures and job losses.
In its latest business trends survey, the Irish Pharmacy Union (IPU) has warned that its members are not seeing the same uplift as other areas of the economy and that pharmacies will struggle and be forced to cut jobs if no action is taken.
The IPU’s survey shows that 54% of pharmacies saw a decline in sales levels during the first quarter of the year, with dispensary sales particularly badly hit, due to what chemists say is the impact of reference pricing and cuts under Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest legislation.
Nearly 40% of survey respondents said business costs are increasing — mainly energy, business, waste, wage, and rental costs — with nearly 70% seeing profits decline.
More than half said they expect this year to be more difficult than 2014 in trading terms.
IPU vice-president Daragh Connolly said the results of the survey are “worrying” but not surprising.
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