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Bankrupt pharmacies treble in last five years

The number of pharmacies facing bankruptcy in Portugal has more than trebled in the last five years, from 241 in 2012 (8.3% of all pharmacies) to 630 in 2017 (21.4%).

The worrying data was revealed last week by the national pharmacies’ association (ANF).

“The Portuguese economy has taken steps forwards, but pharmacies are still living in a climate of crisis and austerity,” said Paulo Cleto, president of ANF.

Data also shows that there has been a 130% increase in the number of pharmacies facing “penhoras” (seizures).

As the association points out: “More than one fifth of Portuguese pharmacies entered 2018 in a situation of economic crisis, facing insolvency and seizures and without guarantees of survival.”

A total of 31 pharmacies in the Algarve (27% of the region’s total) are facing this uncertain future and are at risk of closing. The situation is even worse in Portalegre (32.6%), followed by Guarda (28.8%), Santarém (28.6%), Setúbal (28.4%) and Lisbon (27.1%).

However, the president of ANF assures that “despite the difficulties, pharmacists and their teams aim to continue providing the more isolated populations access to healthcare”.

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