Saturday, 21 July 2012

ASDA to Sell Salbutamol Inhalers Over The Counter

Yesterday, an article in the Express mentioned that ASDA will be selling two Salbutamol inhalers to customers for £7 from this coming Tuesday. Cost price of a salbutamol inhaler is around £1.69 x 2 = £3.38, everyone they sell they will make £3.62. They have strategically positioned themselves below the £7.65 NHS charge to maximise revenues. Although 90% of all NHS prescriptions are exempt from payment, £7 is a small inconvenience in relation to booking an appointment with your doctor and then waiting 2 weeks to relieve your potentially life threatening breathing problems.

The articles in the popular press seem to be pretty misleading. The main article on the BBC for instance, is entitled "Supermarkets to sell asthma inhalers over the counter", this sounds like Doris on the checkout till can give it to you with your meal deal and sundries, whereas in fact they mean the pharmacist at your supermarket can sell you the inhaler based upon their clinical expertise.

What does this mean for your friendly local independent pharmacy? Do they have the resources to do the same and sell salbutamol inhalers Over The Counter (OTC). No, not on their own, however, one independent has group together with others and created www.patientgroupdirection.com which serves to provide pharmacists with the ability offer a wider arrange of medicines OTC. We have been offering the same salbutamol service to all independent pharmacies across the UK since February 2012 using this Pharmacy PGD.

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