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Scottish funding unchanged after 'complex' issues discussed

Community Pharmacy Scotland (CPS) worked through some "complex issues" with the government to secure an "unchanged financial package" for 2017-18, it told C+D.

Under the settlement, the global sum has remained at the 2016-17 level of £178.4 million, CPS confirmed last month (June 9).

Negotiations with the Scottish government were "challenging" and while conversations "went well enough, it took longer to work through complex issues", CPS director of operations Matt Barclay told C+D on June 30.

Pregabalin and English funding feature in discussions

Mr Barclay explained the challenges to the negotiations were centred on the "state of public finance", and stressed the negotiator is "aware of what is happening south of the border" – referring to the government-imposed 12% cut to pharmacy funding in England.

Pregabalin coming off patent also had an "impact" on the final settlement, Mr Barclay told C+D. The extent of the impact will be monitored from August 1, once the patent has expired, CPS said.

"The main [results] were certainly in terms of an unchanged global sum," Mr Barclay explained. "We are working through how that money will be allocated."

More from the settlement

CPS also confirmed that a tariff reduction of 5.8% had been agreed and would be implemented over a 12-month period which commenced on June 1. The drop in the tariff "reflects the amount owed to health boards from the 2016-17 agreement", it explained.

Generic reimbursement rates will fall to zero – from last year’s 3% – and the "non-global sum" – which is dependent on factors such as margins – will remain unchanged from its current level of £1.3 million, CPS confirmed.

The negotiator stressed that more details will follow in "due course" and promised the 2018-19 negotiations will acknowledge the "development of pharmacy services and the contribution to primary care transformation".

Last year, Scotland saw its global sum increase by £1m.

What do you make of the Scottish funding settlement?

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