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Contractors 'highly stressed' awaiting 'so many' concessionary prices

Contractors in England have reported being “highly stressed” waiting for concessionary prices for several items, including levetiracetam, amlodipine and felodipine.

These are just three items that readers have flagged with C+D today (see tweets below).

Graham Phillips, superintendent pharmacist of Manor Pharmacy Group in Hertfordshire, suggested that the actual list of items contractors are waiting on concessionary prices for could be “endless”.

“There must be 100 common generics we can't obtain at drug tariff prices,” Mr Phillips tweeted today.

Waiting for “so many” items

Dipak Pau, owner and superintendent pharmacist of The Pill Box pharmacy in Chelmsford, said there are still “so many” products he is waiting on concessionary prices to be agreed for, including packs of 28 bicalutamide 50mg tablets, and 60 quetiapine 300mg tablets.

“As a professional, I cannot carry on like this,” he told C+D today (December 1). “All of this is happening in the climate of low dispensing fees, savage cuts in category M and the pharmacy funding cuts [in England]. No doubt there will be more in the pipeline.”

Mr Pau said he has contacted the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) “more than once in the last few days”.

Another contractor – who wishes to remain anonymous – said they are struggling to submit month-end finances “without knowing what I am being paid for”.

“I was advised that this can be fixed retrospectively, but that isn’t good enough,” they added.

PSNC “continuing to press” DH

In a statement on its website, PSNC said it is “continuing to press” the Department of Health (DH) on the 97 price concessions it requested for November.

Just 38 of these items have so far been granted a concessionary price, although PSNC said today that as of November 27, the DH had indicated it is “still considering” the remaining 59 items.

“We are hoping to receive a reply soon and well before November prescription pricing is finalised.”

PSNC said it is unable to name the other 59 items it has requested concessionary prices for.

PSNC director of pharmacy funding Mike Dent told C+D that the negotiator has “a significant evidence base for November prices”.

It has “stressed the need for certainty” in the lead-up to the “busy Christmas period” and has urged contractors to continue to report supply issues encountered in December, he added.

“In these unprecedented times, we would recommend that contractors seek professional advice, from their accountant in the first instance,” Mr Dent added.

PSNC has set up a specific email address for pharmacy teams to contact regarding the outstanding November price concessions: [email protected].

"The list goes on"

Are there any items that you are waiting to receive concessionary prices for?

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