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Could burgeoning nutraceuticals industry boost pharmacy cashflow?

As the pressure to deliver mounts on local pharmacies, the burgeoning nutraceuticals industry could help ease the strain that is being caused by industry issues. Many pharmacies are currently dispensing prescription medication at a loss in real terms due to the nature of the NHS prescription payment system. Further to this, the amount that pharmacies are reimbursed for issuing prescribed medication to customers has decreased over the years; pharmacists are having to work harder year on year in order to try and maintain a steady income.

Figures from the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) show that the number of concessions granted to pharmacies in the UK decreased from 86 in December 2017 to 80 in January 2019. The Committee also noticed a surge in the number of prescribed generic medications that are unavailable to be purchased at Drug Tariff price or even at the concessionary prices further adding to the strains on cash flow in most pharmacies

However, clinically validated nutraceuticals could help rescue pharmacies who are experiencing dwindling cashflow. The global vitamins, minerals and supplements (VMS) market is set to grow to $278.02 billion by 2024 and by stocking and providing a range of clinically validated nutraceutical supplements, pharmacies can improve their cashflow. This in turn will assist pharmacies in re-establishing themselves as go-to community health advisers.

The ‘Help Us Help You' pharmacy advice campaign, launched by the NHS in February 2019, is placing pharmacies at the forefront of the drive for promoting self-care in local communities. London-based nutraceutical company, MedTate, believes that pharmacies have a big part to play in ensuring the wellness and health of their local communities. While consumer behaviour has changed in recent years, pharmacists are still being relied upon by their communities to deliver vital medication as well as advice on prevention and treatments in all matters of health and wellness.

Pharmacies driving natural health

The potential for pharmacists to drive positive change in people’s health is exciting and challenging, but truth be told no one is better positioned to deliver health and wellness advice in local communities than pharmacists. This has been further supported by the recent campaign from the NHS which fundamentally encourages pharmacists to offer prevention in the form of wellness advice and not just the treatment in the form of medication. Clinically validated nutraceuticals available over the counter (OTC) are key in delivering this self-help. 

For example, MedTate enables pharmacies to make available its clinically validated Ojamin Herb & Fruit supplement to people who are suffering with type II diabetes and those who are seeking an impactful health supplement.  

Hiten Parekh, Head of Business Development at the Total Body Care (Orbis & Pearl Pharmacy in Clapham) said: “We are able to promote natural products to our community and neighbouring areas as we are finding more people are interested in taking supplements alongside any medication. These are hard times for retail across the board and we have noticed that there is a rise in nutraceutical products, and we are confident that this will be a large part of our sales in the near future. We are definitely having more walk-ins for nutraceuticals and the natural health market is growing.”

Existing pharma companies generally try to monetise their research and development (R&D) in drug development by launching their products as drugs first at high prices and then, only after their patent has expired, do they consider delivering into the OTC market. However, MedTate’s disruptive model ensures that independent clinically validated products go straight to the OTC market first via the pharmacies. This enables pharmacists to take advantage of ground-breaking treatments in supplement form as soon as possible and offer them as supplements to their customer base. MedTate’s solid two-pronged approach encompasses both R&D and OTC products and ensures the company can introduce clinically validated breakthrough products to market while simultaneously researching and developing these same products into potential prescription medicines.  

Pete Tate, CEO and founder of MedTate, said: “Pharmacies are essential in reviving high streets across the country and they need to show how effective they can be in kick-starting positive changes in people’s health by becoming champions of health and wellness. MedTate’s disruptive model and products could enable them to deliver innovative products to patients and encourage them to advise people on overall wellness.”

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