Supermarket chain Sainsbury’s has outlined plans to double its pharmacy revenue over the next three years as it launches a new pharmacy initiative, it was announced today.
‘The Wells Challenge’ aims to highlight the important role pharmacists have to play in improving the nation’s health and is to be independently monitored by think-tank 2020health.
Assessing the health impact of ten families – all with the surname Wells – as they receive expert guidance and support from Sainsbury’s pharmacists. The initiative aims to reduce pressure on NHS services.
Julia Manning, 2020health CEO, said: “Through The Wells Challenge we want to show how community pharmacies can work alongside NHS services to provide a resource for advice, guidance, and support in making healthy lifestyle choices as well as medicines usage and management of long-term conditions.
“In doing so we hope to show the benefits of public and private cooperation and how pressure can be relieved on NHS services nationwide through pharmacy.”
Last month, the UK’s third largest pharmacy chain, Co-op Pharmacy, expanded its senior team as it looks to ensure the smooth running of its branch network and estate portfolio , including new store openings and relocations.
Sainsbury’s figures released today reveal that many UK consumers already use key pharmacy services on offer across the country, with flu vaccinations at Sainsbury’s already up 230 per cent on last year and cholesterol testing expected to increase by 50 per cent early in 2012.
The grocer teamed up with YouGov to correlate data which shows that a third of Brits are more likely to visit a pharmacist over a GP for minor ailment diagnosis.
According to the research, men are more likely to discuss common ailments such as colds, flu and rashes with a pharmacist in the first instance rather than with their partner.
Chris Perrington, Sainsbury’s Pharmacy Superintendent, said that the retailer’s varied pharmacy offer aimed to improve the health of consumers across the UK.
“Our skilled pharmacists offer a wide range of services, from prescription collection to diabetes screening and healthy eating advice,” he explained.
“As our commitment today shows, we will continue to invest and expand our pharmacy offering to support our customers making healthcare accessible and easy to fit into busy day-to-day schedules.
“We hope that The Wells Challenge will help open the public’s eyes to the important improvements that can be made to an individual’s health simply with the help of local pharmacists.”