Sedgefield MP Phil Wilson has pledged support to a campaign to save local pharmacies as the Government consults on cutting their funding by £170million.
One in four pharmacies could close as a result of the proposals, threatening the future of up to 149 pharmacies across the country.
Visiting the Phillips Chemist in Trimdon Colliery last Friday, Mr Wilson saw first hand the important services it provides to local people.
Commenting on the proposals, Mr Wilson said “Community pharmacies are vitally important, especially in the rural areas.”
“We’ve got to let the Government know the strength of feeling. We can’t keep losing facilities like this.”
Chief officier of County Durham and Darlington Local Pharaceutical Committee, Greg Burke said “Local pharmacies are situated at the heart of the community and provide extensive services in addition to dispensing medication”
Mr Burke added “At a time when other parts of the health service such as GPs, A&Es and walk-in centres are stretched to capacity, local pharmacies can provide a valuable alternative.
“Rather than disinvestment in community pharmacies we should have more investment.”
County Durham and Darlington Lcoal Pharmaceutical Committee, which is part of the national committees Support Your Local Pharmacy campaign, has collected more than 1,800 signatures from across the Phillips Chemist group, which operates from Trimdon Village, Fishburn, and Sedgefield, as well as Trimdon Colliery.
Nationally, 600,000 signatures have been collected, and will be presented to Government. Mr Wilson will also present 250 signed Support Your Local Pharmacy cards to Parliament.