Community Pharmacy have performed brilliantly during the pandemic. Their doors were open throughout and have filled the gap when many GP practices closed their doors. The advances given to them by Government to meet the additional costs are now being demanded back by Government leaving many of them in a precarious position. If the money advanced by Government is demanded back in one go, as many as 1 in 3 pharmacies are under threat The all party group recently completed an inquiry into the state of Pharmacy which found that many pharmacies were facing the risk of closure due to financial pressures. This debate was a occasion to celebrate our local pharmacies and to call on the Government and NHS to put Community pharmacy on a more sustainable financial footing. During the past year, pharmacists have risen to the enormous challenges facing them. As the country closed, community pharmacists remained open. They remained open to keep us healthy. As we have transitioned into the vaccine stage of our fight against Covid, pharmacists up and down Britain are saving lives. The 11,500 community pharmacies in our country have been open every day for every single one of us. They have been there for us, and now the government must be there for them. While some other sectors of the economy have received government bailouts for being closed, community pharmacies are in debt because they’ve stayed open to save lives. Like most of the NHS, community pharmacists received funding to ensure they could remain operational throughout. Not reimbursing local pharmacies for the £370m costs of coronavirus, including higher wholesale prices of medicines, would be a slap in the face for this hardworking and essential part of the NHS. Community pharmacists I speak to are worried. Many face financial difficulty, many more are worried that increased costs are too much to bear without the threat of repayment. According to Ernst & Young, up to 38% of small, family-owned pharmacies are now in financial deficit – many of them in deprived neighbourhoods. Deservedly, GPs have had millions in costs reimbursed and NHS dentists have received permanent payments for lost income as a result of coronavirus. And yet the heaviest burden will be placed upon pharmacist’s. They are the ones who will be first to repay, and the effects will be enormous.