Sainsbury's announces goal to double its pharmacy revenue by 2015, says its healthcare stream is flourishing, with 4.5% growth over the last year

LONDON , November 7, 2011 () – Today, Sainsbury's announces its aim to double its pharmacy revenue by 2015 as the retailer's healthcare stream continues to flourish, having enjoyed 4.5 per cent growth over the last year.

The announcement comes as Sainsbury's launches a bold new pharmacy initiative - The Wells Challenge which aims to highlight the important role pharmacists have to play in improving the nation's health. The Wells Challenge will be independently monitored by leading think tank 2020health and will assess the health impact of 10 families - all with the surname Wells - as they receive expert guidance and support from Sainsbury's pharmacists.

The growing importance of pharmacy is reiterated in new YouGov research, commissioned by Sainsbury's Pharmacy, which shows a third of Brits are more likely to visit a pharmacist over a GP for minor ailment diagnosis. In fact, 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.

Sainsbury's figures also released today show that many Brits are already utilising 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 next year.

Chris Perrington, Sainsbury's Pharmacy Superintendent said: "In the provision of health advice, people increasingly rely on their pharmacist and pharmacy services as an alternative to the doctor, particularly with the increased focus today on prevention over cure in the UK. Our skilled pharmacists offer a wide range of services, from prescription collection to diabetes screening and healthy eating advice. 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.

"As part of our commitment we have launched The Wells Challenge, an exciting yearlong initiative which will assess the positive public and personal health impact of the public utilising pharmacists for key services and health advice. 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."

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."

Notes to editors

1 Neilsen data (Oct 2011)
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2004 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 21st - 24th October 2011. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

The Wells Challenge

Sainsbury's believes that good advice from an in-store pharmacy can benefit a family's health. To prove this, the supermarket is challenging 10 families - all with the surname Wells - to improve their health over 12 months by using the support and services of their local Sainsbury's pharmacist.
2020health will be analysing and evaluating the data that will be tracked as part of the Challenge. 2020health is also working with the charity Heart Research UK to evaluate the data. At the end of the yearlong Challenge 2020health will compile a recommendations report.

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