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Long-awaited NHSE pharmacy economic review to begin in March

A healthcare data company and consultancy will jointly run the NHSE-commissioned economic review of the pharmacy sector, it has been revealed.

Healthcare data company IQVIA and consultancy Frontier Economics have successfully tendered for the long-awaited economic review of pharmaceutical services, IQVIA vice president Carol Alexandre revealed at the Sigma Pharmaceuticals conference yesterday (February 26).

Ms Alexandre said that the review, which has been commissioned by NHS England (NHSE), “hasn't started yet” but that the “latest information” is that it is due to launch next month.

Read more: NHSE economic review chance to ‘prove’ unsustainability of pharmacies

Last month, pharmacy minister Andrea Leadsom said in response to a parliamentary question that NHSE had “commissioned an economic analysis of the cost of providing pharmaceutical services”. 

Dame Andrea said at the time that the analysis was “ongoing” and would “inform any future decision on the funding of community pharmacies”.

Read more: UPDATED: DH ‘rejects’ finding it failed to meet pledges to review pharmacy funding

Community Pharmacy England (CPE) chief executive Janet Morrison also told Sigma conference delegates yesterday morning that the negotiator was on the steering board for the economic review.

Ms Morrison said that CPE needs to “influence” the scope and methodology of the review to ensure that NHSE looks at “the whole cost of commissioning an NHS pharmacy service”. 

 

Long-awaited review

 

In January 2023, NHSE revealed that it was looking for an independent supplier to undertake a “comprehensive” analysis of pharmacy contractors’ “current financial situation” to determine “the extent to which services are able to be efficiently delivered from community pharmacy, rather than provided elsewhere within primary care and the wider NHS”.

C+D reported at the time that a document accompanying the tender notice showed that NHSE intended to commission a provider to run the analysis from March 2023.

Read more: ‘No assessment' of funding impact on pharmacy closures, says DH

In March that year, Ms Morrison told C+D that an upcoming independent economic review into community pharmacy funding was expected to kick off “shortly”.

And in October, C+D reported that a CPE briefing released after September’s committee meeting revealed that it had been “analysing NHSE’s plan for the independent economic review of the sector”.

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