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Have your say on PSNC's alternative to the funding cuts

Vote in our poll to tell us if you think the negotiator's proposals are workable

The Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) published a raft of proposals last week that it says will help save the NHS "at least as much" as the £170 million the government plans to cut from the sector's funding.

The "short-term alternatives" are designed to make savings in the NHS prescribing budget and avoid the 6% cut to the global sum, which the PSNC has called a "retrograde step".

But the response to the proposals has been mixed. Vote in our poll to have your say...


Which of PSNC’s suggestions is the best way to offset the funding cuts?
Getting paid to spot when the patient already has enough stock of a medicine
Suggesting more cost-effective medicines to prescribers
Being allowed to dispense generic versions instead of branded drugs (if applicable)
Identify excessive prescribing and supplies in care homes
A month-long campaign to raise awareness of medicines waste
Total votes: 197

How could pharmacists save the DH money?
  1. "Not-dispensed scheme" 

    Pharmacists could reduce NHS medicines costs by assessing whether the patient already has sufficient stock at home. Contractors would receive the usual professional fees plus a small additional fee for each non-dispensed item.
  2. Therapeutic substitution service

    Pharmacists would send GP practices alternative prescribing options for individual patients, with a “clear explanation” of why the alternative medicine was more cost-effective.
  3. Generic substitution service 

    A list of branded medicines that could be substituted for a generic would be agreed at a national level. Pharmacists would then discuss with patients whether any of their current prescriptions met this criteria.
  4. Care homes

    Community pharmacists would identify the excess prescribing and supply of medicines and dressings to care homes, by conducting regular reviews of their supplies.
  5. Unwanted medicines campaign and audit 

    A month-long campaign of waste medicines returned to pharmacies would raise awareness of this issue among patients and prescribers. Pharmacists would then audit the waste and share learning with local prescribers.

    Source, PSNC Briefing 026/16: PSNC’s counter proposal to the Government’s plans for community pharmacy in 2016/17 and beyond (April 2016)

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