‘Unprecedented’ 15p per item rise in November advance payments

In a move the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee describes as “unprecedented,” the Department of Health has confirmed community pharmacy contractors will receive an additional 15p per item in advance payments received on 1 November.

The PSNC said it “had been seeking urgent intervention to offer some relief for contractors, and this measure has been taken in recognition of the extraordinary cashflow challenges highlighted.”

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PSNC says: “The increase has been confirmed for one month only, and full and final payment for services provided in September will be reconciled as usual at the end of November.

“This means that contractors will not receive any additional funding overall, but the impact of the expected reduction to be seen in the 1 November payment, following Drug Tariff price reductions put in place from August, will be smoothed out.”

PSNC minister Sue Sharpe said: “The pharmacy minister has responded to PSNC’s request for urgent measures to offer contractors some relief and this unprecedented action will help many pharmacies to manage the cashflow crisis over the next few weeks. We are grateful for this positive response.

“We remain concerned though that there will be pharmacies for which this is too little, and that it may be too late.

“The impact of the imposed funding cuts is to discriminate against smaller urban pharmacies, many of which serve the most disadvantaged communities. We hope we can work with the minister and with NHS England to review policies in the light of evidence not available when they were formed in late 2015. This most recent decision gives us hope that we will be able to restore the constructive relationships that underpinned our work before 2015.

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