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12p-per-item increase in advance payments for December

Sue Sharpe: There will be pharmacies for which this is not enough
Sue Sharpe: There will be pharmacies for which this is not enough

Pharmacies in England will receive a "one-off-increase" of 12p-per-item in their December 1 advance payments, the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) has announced.

The increase will be implemented in the same way as the 15p-per-item increase for November 1 advance payments, PSNC said.

“The increase has been confirmed for one month only, and full and final payment for services provided in September will be reconciled as usual at the end of November,” PSNC said.

“This means contractors will not receive any additional funding overall, but the impact of...drug tariff price reductions...will be smoothed out.”

PSNC chief executive Sue Sharpe said the negotiator is “grateful” for this “continued positive response” from pharmacy minister Steve Brine, which “aims to provide some relief to contractors”.

“We remain concerned though that there will be pharmacies for which this is not enough; and the measures will of course not address underlying funding and sustainability issues,” Ms Sharpe said.

She added that “recent statements” by Mr Brine and the decision to increase December advance payments “give us hope we will be able to restore constructive relationships [with the government] that underpinned our work before 2015”.

Will the increase in advance payments help your pharmacy to survive?

Omcare Late NIght Pharmacy, Community pharmacist

Are you having a laugh??

You do not clearly understand how pharmacies cash flow work???

Since last few months ( I said Months...) everyone has started war on pharmacies cash flow by looks of this.

First, government has cancelled the practice payments from the pharmacies, then they brought DOH cuts and then they throwed Category M cuts on top of that.

3 big cuts on the payment!!!!!!!!

On top of that, wholesalers have increased the drug prices way above the drug tariff for almost each and every item. 

Cash flow is definitely going to hit and we do not have luxury to go and ask world bank for loan as well!!!!

Now, working in the pharmacy feels like I am working in the shares trading market. Each day, I am trying to order our fast moving generics for the prices above the drug tariff in the hope that government will raise these prices in NCSO list but some come and quite a few misses the list. At the moment, pharmacy has to pay from its pocket and believe me, my 100 hour independent pharmacy has not got much deep pockets. 

Until and unless, you guys wont look at the drug shortages in the market and give us the prices that at least cover the payments through "NCSO" ( forget about the profit), many more pharmacies will be forced to close down.

I have not mentioned the impact of "cancellation of the repeat ordering by pharmacies" which has also destroyed the balance of pharmacy team working hours and some surgeries have started prescribing 2 monthly scripts instead of monthly that has got a lot of impact on pharmacy viability.  


Overall, as a pharmacy owner, I am like in active war. I have to fight to pay my mortgage and make sure my staff can keep their job so they can able to pay their mortgages. I am fighting against the 3 big government cuts who chewed off the money from the final payment; wholesalers who are charging higher prices than the drug tariffs; DOH for trying to make them aware of these increases so they can release "NCSO" prices; surgeries who are trying to cut the number of items by issuing 2 monthly scripts and list goes on and on.......

And in return, what SUPPORT  I am getting...........

Quality payments- for to get them we need to spend much more time and paperwork

Increased Item Value: no where near it reflects the amount of work pharmcy has to do to dispense that one item....

12p advance payment- it says it self.... its an advance payment means in other words.... like a "loan Sharks"... need to pay them back tomorrow from your own pockets...... 


So Whom to blame:

Government: No clues whats going on in the pharmacy sector and how to use them or support them so they are not doing anything....

Wholesalers: Most big ones owned by the companies who own multiple pharmacies anyway. They are just increasing the money to gain back the profit government has taken away from them.....

Manufactures: They will definitely want to make money when wholesalers are supporting them and government is quite on purpose!!!

Pharmacy representatives: They have already earned enough and still getting their monthly cheques without being affected with all this. So they dont ask or dont put enough pressure on sector's demands. 


In summery: Very painful to see everyone trying to work for their individual agendas only ( to make more money) and nobody cares for pharmacies or NHS at the end.  If pharmacies will be forced to shut, patient will suffer, NHS will suffer, many people will loose their jobs, mortgages and at the end it will add more pressure on Surgeries, NHS and government anyway. 

Wolverine 001 , Pharmacist Director

well as a 100 hour contractor I hope you are doing over 10,000 items or your are going to be on the fromt page of the C&D!!!  But I do feel what you are saying.... the government have pharmacy running for the hills and frankly this is not going to get any better.... fom the budget you can see how grim the economic growth forecast has been.... and what does the LPC say "Time to baten down the hatches".... 

Sunny Jim, Pharmacy Buyer

Sue doesn’t care what she negotiated for pharmacy. She’ll still get her monthly cheque ..apparently she’s on £144,000 per annum 

Marc Borson, Community pharmacist

The term for this is Market Failure. When the hell are boots and lloyds going to do something!!!!!!!!!!!!


SydBashford Sold&Retired&DeRegistered, Community pharmacist

I think boots and Lloyd’s may be part of the problem. How do we know that they are not inflating drug prices so their own chain don’t suffer from the cutbacks, at the expense of everyone else? They would benefit if the drug price hikes help the DOH to shut down the 3000 pharmacies !

Wolverine 001 , Pharmacist Director

They are sitting pretty waiting for as all to fall of a cliff!!!!

Valentine Trodd, Community pharmacist

Can you change that picture of Sue please? It's giving me nightmares...

Reeyah H, Community pharmacist

My FP34 schedules are giving me nightmares! 

Wolverine 001 , Pharmacist Director

I dont know whats going on I had the highest ive had for a year last month for doing 300 more items - so expecting a large clawback this month due to the advance payment and its not as bad I thought it was going to be - head above water for another month!!!!

Sunny Jim, Pharmacy Buyer

Sue..... you won’t be in my Christmas card list Grrrrrrrr


SydBashford Sold&Retired&DeRegistered, Community pharmacist

We are already spoilt... ruined in fact..... forget the advanced (borrowed) money, what the heck is being done with the massive overpayment of drugs more than DT price? Almost everything is. When is someone going to look at the massive underpayment of purchase profit we are all experiencing... ?

Wolverine 001 , Pharmacist Director

You are right syd, this is simply ridiculous, we should get alot of the Cat M payment back, if they can claw back excess profit we should be able to claw back excess losses.... but ill tell you this... NHS England are freaking out at the moment due to this price concession stuff, this is a way that we have kept our cheques looking some what decent as if they hadn't we would be all up the creek without a paddle... the last couple of months have hit NHS England hard!!

Sunny Jim, Pharmacy Buyer much did you make last year? 

Wolverine 001 , Pharmacist Director

Sorry but arent we in business to make a profit?? We have to be incentivised to take the risk, if we were not going to make more than a locum salary why would we take the stress?? 


Reeyah H, Community pharmacist

Not much I can assure you. 

Ilove Pharmacy, Non Pharmacist Branch Manager

A bit below the belt. I'm sure Syds business will fold in months.....

Sunny Jim, Pharmacy Buyer

Your spoiling us Mr ambassador ( Ferroro rocher ) 

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