“No final decision has been taken” on the proposed funding "package" for the sector, a DH spokesperson told C+D last Friday (October 14).
The DH spoke to C+D after the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) rejected the government's proposals to slash pharmacy funding in England by 12% for December 2016 until March 2017.
In a letter sent to the DH’s head of pharmacy Jeannette Howe last week (October 13), PSNC chief executive Sue Sharpe Sharpe said the decision to give pharmacists just six weeks’ notice to prepare for a 12% cut to their funding is “preposterous”, and the government’s proposals “were and remain, founded on ignorance”.
Ms Sharpe also said there had been “no real consultation” around the funding package between the two parties.
However, the DH told C+D it had “worked collaboratively” with PSNC and had “listened to [its] suggestions and counter proposals”.
“We are committed to offering more help to those pharmacies people most depend on compared to others,” the DH spokesperson added.
The DH also told C+D that the government aims to “modernise the pharmacy sector”. “That's why we are investing £112m to deliver a further 1,500 pharmacists in general practice by 2020,” it said.
A leaked document shared with C+D on Sunday (October 16) revealed that just one in 10 pharmacies in England will be given financial support as part of the government’s planned fund to provide relief from the cuts.
Three days earlier, the National Pharmacy Association said government plans to allow pharmacists to supply emergency medication without GP approval were a "smoke screen" for the funding cuts.