20 percent of pharmacies have had to lay off staff in the past five weeks and a further 40 percent say they will be forced to lay off more staff shortly, if the government fails to deliver on the promise it made three weeks ago to pharmacists. These figures are revealed in a recently conducted Irish Pharmacy Union (IPU) Covid-19 Business Survey.

It shows that the vast majority of pharmacies have been hit by significant extra costs to enable them to remain open and to provide safe care during the pandemic.

The survey reveals staff costs, as well as additional security, delivery and sanitisation costs, are increasing by an average of €5,000 per month, equating to almost €10 million per month on average across the sector.

The increase in costs comes at a time when retail sales in pharmacies have dropped dramatically due to the restrictions,

IPU Secretary General, Tuam -based, Darragh O’Loughlin told midwest News today that as the various Covid-19 restrictions have been implemented, pharmacies have remained open to provide their communities with an uninterrupted supply of medicines, service and advice, but this has come at an unsustainable cost to many. He warns if urgent Government support is not forthcoming, some pharmacies will have to dramatically curtail their opening hours or close completely. 

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