Mayor of London in awe of community pharmacy

30 Apr 2021

The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has described community pharmacy teams as “unsung heroes” during the pandemic and said it was in the interests of government to inject more funding into the sector.

The comments were made during a In Conversation with Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London event organised by the Asian Media Group and Eastern Eye newspaper on Thursday (29 April).

NPA chief executive, Mark Lyonette asked the Mayor, “Would the Mayor like to take this opportunity to thank the capital’s 1800 community pharmacy teams for staying open throughout the pandemic, thereby keeping the wheels on the NHS and maintaining access to advice, medicines and vaccines?”

Mr Khan responded that he was “in awe and grateful for our pharmacy teams across London” and described them as “unsung heroes.”

“I’ve been to pharmacies in many occasions over the last few weeks and months, not least receiving my flu jab. I have asthma so I go to a pharmacy regularly. Many people couldn’t go see their GP, they couldn’t get an appointment they didn’t have the confidence to use technology. The human beings that were available, that were the experts, were pharmacists.

“I’m so in awe and grateful of pharmacies across our city. Many of them are small independent family businesses and they have shown the public how brilliant they are.”

Jignesh Patel, from Rohpharm pharmacy in Newham, asked the Mayor about pharmacy funding. The Mayor responded that there is a strong economic case for investment in pharmacies and that London needs a strong network of pharmacies to help handle the next pandemic, when it comes. He said that the current financial climate is especially challenging for independents.

On lobbying government and his relationship with the Health Secretary and the Chancellor Sadiq said “city hall has a high amount of lobbying power.”

“What I can do is listen and get evidence from pharmacies across the capital and in particular independent pharmacies to not just survive but flourish and thrive.”
He added that there wasn’t just a moral and social case but also an economic case in investing in them.

“All the evidence suggests that this will not be last virus we have. Pharmacists and many others have risen to the occasions but many of them may not be around in the future. So it’s in the government’s interests to support those people.”