Friday, July 3, 2009

Irish pharmacists get cranky again

Well it would seem as though the Irish pharmacists union is kicking up an almighty fuss again about the governments attempts to reduce the somewhat absurd amounts of profits to be made in handing packets of pills to customers. The arguement being put forward by the IPU is that profit reduction will lead to closure of many pharmacies...

What isn't realised by most people is just how much money there is to be made in this line of business, and with this much money sloshing about, I do understand why the IPU don't want these cuts to go forward. Go to any mid sized town in Ireland and you will find 3 or 4 pharmacies... All selling the same things... To a small population.

Any industry that supports that many of the same business in small population centres is too profitable for my liking (when it's tax payers money anyway). It would be hard to name any other business that you could you open 4 identical outlets in the same small town and still make money (that isn't a pub)

I think the government are completely correct here and hope the cuts go through, snip snip snip.


Anonymous said...

I am a pharmacist. Dispensing medications requires more than just labelling a container; many legal and ethical guidelines are required. As to the excessive gross profit involved - please refer to actual gross profit %. As prices have increased, gross profits have not. Pharmacy grosses continue to decline while services - interaction screeing, etc. continue to increase. Thanks for posting this.

Ed said...

Hey, well I suppose that the profit levels that any one pharmacy makes will depend hugely on the clientele that turn up day in day out, if a pharmacy operates in an area with a great proportion of private patients as opposed to GMS etc then they presumably will be making more profit.

I know my knowledge on the whole area is mediocre, but, I do believe that if there is enough profit in the industry to allow 3/4 retail units to operate in any smallish town, then there is too much money being made there.

Obviously pharmacists who face closure because of any Medical Card price reduction will be against this, but looking from the outside, it seems that it is unreasonable for the government to support an industry which is (by virtue of the number of outlets it can support) making too much money as is.