Boots: Stop putting public safety at risk for the sake of corporate profit

Boots: Stop putting public safety at risk for the sake of corporate profit

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Boots is putting patients’ lives at risk through its relentless drive for profit.

That’s according to its own pharmacists, who are speaking out in droves after a Guardian investigation lifted the lid on what really goes on at Britain’s biggest pharmacy.

Boots, they say, has become “a giant profit-seeking monster”. It puts its pharmacists under constant pressure to meet impossible financial targets. It forces them to give patients reviews they don’t need just so the corporation can milk NHS schemes for profit. And it’s drastically cut staff to the point that many chemists no longer have colleagues to check their work, putting public safety at risk.

Right now, Boots is under huge pressure. The investigation has created a storm, and the industry watchdog is calling in evidence against the corporation. We can massively add to that pressure by showing Boots we support the pharmacists speaking out to protect our safety.

Boots: Stop putting public safety at risk for the sake of corporate profit. Let your pharmacists be pharmacists, not salespeople.

Boots is a British institution. It started off as a family-run business that believed in “fellowship in ideals, common hope, common sympathies, and common humanity”. But, after being taken over by a billionaire based in a tax haven in 2007, it became a prime example of rogue capitalism -- obsessed with profiteering at any cost.

Worse, it’s profiteering from public money from our cash-strapped NHS. Around one-third of the corporation’s annual income comes from NHS prescriptions alone. Then there are the patient health checks, which cost the NHS £28 a go -- and which chemists say are being given to patients who don’t want or need them, just so Boots can get its hands on more NHS cash. With the corporation taking over NHS contracts to run GP surgeries and hearing test centres, it’s only going to get worse.

Now experts -- including its own chemists -- say its relentless pursuit of financial targets is putting public health at risk.

SumOfUs was created to put an end to the corporate capture of our public services, and to  support people’s struggles against corporate greed. Time and again, we’ve stood up against corporations refusing to give what they owe to ordinary people -- whether that’s taxes, fair wages or basic decency. And time and again, we’ve won.  

Let’s tell Boots to let its pharmacists look after the public’s health, not the corporation’s bottom line.

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