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Clawback and cuts mean pharmacies will lose £42k over a year

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"There will be many more that will close down, as they won’t be able to survive the cuts"
"There will be many more that will close down, as they won’t be able to survive the cuts"

The average pharmacy in England will lose £42,000 over 12 months as result of a combined category M clawback and the ongoing funding cuts, accountant Umesh Modi has predicted.

The clawback will see an average drop of around 17-18 pence per item on current drug tariff prices, for the 12-month period beginning in August, the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) announced on Wednesday (July 19).

Mr Modi, partner at accountancy firm Silver Levene, estimated that over this 12-month period the clawback would add a £15,000 loss onto the £27,000 shortfall the average pharmacy would already expect as a result of the funding cuts, he told C+D yesterday (July 20).

“This is unaffordable for many, particularly average-to-small pharmacies,” he said.

“No business can operate in this manner”

“In my view, this is completely unjustified. No business can operate in this manner, in a period of constant uncertainty and without the security of income,” Mr Modi said.

“I am convinced so many independents will think of cutting staff, reduce investment or simply sell out. There will be many more that will close down, as they won’t be able to survive the cuts.

“This is not going to be good for the patients either,” said Mr Modi. “These cuts need to be reversed and it is [a] case of austerity gone way too far to achieve short-term goals.”

18 Comments
Question: 
How will the category M clawback affect you?

CAPT FX, Locum pharmacist

We are on a fast slope to disappearing as a Profession because as a Profession we have in our midst non-professional Area Managers and executives who have no trades to talk about. I have looked at the Linkedin qualifications of our glitterati, and some of them are silent about something as basic as GCSEs. These man like one who is commenting on this page is determining the professional direction we take with Impunity. They are not qualified, Managers or Administrators. They are qualified bullies. These are the men who ruled the school ground yesteryear when we were growing up and true to form they are ruling the roost and driving our profession into the ground.

I read about these gloomy stories on this page every day, yet there are opportunities. Pharmacy is a Business, and if we had qualified business brains, we could mobilise these opportunities. We have Area Managers whose CVs include stints with CarPhone warehouse, WHSmith, UKPORK scratches and Mcolls supermarket. What value do these people bring to Pharmacy? 

We just had Quality payments rolling out recently, and none of our Area Management team knew what it was all about, yet all details were in the Drug Tariff.  We sell products over the counter which are completely alien to our customers because our Area Managers talk about an animal called planograms.

Pharmacists recommend products over the counter which are barely there. It's frustrating in winter when basic cough suppressants and decongestions are unavailable for months. These wise Area Managers reply to say recommend alternatives available. We always promptly refer them to the next establishment. None of them is equipped or qualified to deal with the logistical issues that affect product availability. This is an area where Pharmacy can offset the various issues which the Department of Health will reverse or renegotiate. Some chains resorted to own brand products whose price is more than the original brand and uncompetitive. What kind of whapped thinking is this? The pharmacy can not continue to expect being spoon fed without being creative and making itself competitive. 

We have known for years that the Department of Health will target us being their Logistical arm. We have been haemorrhaging cash and have been pocketing infrastructure payments instead of making ourselves competitive. Our wise and lazy executive claimed these as profits and yet we had done nothing to earn this. Never jump up and down when you are given something on a plate without working for it. Pharmacy has collectively done this jumping up and down jig for a long time and now reality is setting in.

Yes, Funding is going to go down to the bone and survival will not depend on who cuts the locum rate faster or reduces more shop floor hours but those who are innovative and turn what we have now as opportunities. And they are fantastic opportunities which should be exploited by those who took the first 24years of their formative lives and five years of professional training to be Pharmacists. To those counting on their WHSMITH experience, on yer bikes gentlemen and ladies. 

Harish Shah, Senior Management

The whole health system is in shambles, why? We have lousy regulators, where the chairman and stff only work part time maybe one hour a month and drawing fat salaries, all are the friends of #10, e.g. like G4 hospital transport services is lead by Philip May.

david williams, Community pharmacist

Mr Kennedy, I stay behind to finish the other workload, that is left over, checking, bagging, filing, ordering stock, counting my money etc.In addition, this second rate graduate, who is not as professional as my doctor and nurse colleagues, has never considered striking-not sure if that makes me more or less proffessional.
 

jayesh mistry, Pharmacy owner/ Proprietor

All this is fine when will Pharmacist unite and strike like the doctors and nurses a few days of no delivery will soon kick ass

Tom Kennedy, Pharmacy Area manager/ Operations Manager

Doctors and Nurses are health care professionals, they take pride in their work and want the best for their patients.  They will always do what is needed.  When safety or pay is at risk you'll find that most professinos will do the same.  Rail workers and airline staff wouldn't stand for a safety or pay concern.

You really can't put pharmacists into that same bracket, you must remember that pharmacists didn't make the grades for Med School or were out performed at the interview.  What we end up with is a profession made up of the weakest graduates.  You can't seriously expect them to unite and stand up to the powers that be can you?

Who's paying you to make those deliveries?  do you think that Doctors and Nurses would do home visits without adequate funding in their contracts? 

janet maynard, Community pharmacist

How DARE you suggest I am a failed medic!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am NOT a weak graduate. I never applied to med school- nor wanted to.I am a professional though- I take a pride in my work, always do the best for my patients and stay late and do extra when patients require it

Chris Locum, Locum pharmacist

I never applied to med school and neither did  many people I have met over the last 30 years. Those were the days of dignity and professionalism so mysterious and misunderstood by any one outside our ranks. The new standards are not designed to empower - quite the opposite.

They are designed to push out those with any tenure because ultimately they would not accept such treatment, unlike those starting out with big bills and reduced prospects...

Fighting for your rights is more a state of mind rather than which qualification you graduated with. Pharmacy has had too many opinions and not enough cohesion - unlike medics who had been elevated from day one. We acted as a hand maiden - whose fault is that? The old regime would strike you off for making the patient lose faith in the GP

We hoped doing free services would promote our 'worth' to society but it backfired and made us look like maleable fools as a professional group.

Throw in an over supply of people (because Government has been lobbied into avoiding control of numbers ) and  see the end result which is no longer in slow motion...

david williams, Community pharmacist

I think that Sharon Stone's comments are unhelpful. The government set a minimum target of 400 MUR's. You should be doing over 1000 a year-you only get paid for 400 though. They are a screening tool to find problems-no one complains if 95% of mamograms are negative-that is a good result. Every patient deserves a MUR-or put in layman's terms-a conversation regarding their medicines, their understanding of them and if they have any problems or side effects. If you have staffing problems. then that is a different arguement-one worth discussing. BUT please, stop rubbishing contractors for trying to meet expectations set by government. I am an independant and have no links to Boots at all. I achieve all my MUR's and do more-it often means staying on after work to finish the workload-but that is the path I have choosen and therefore cannot complain. To accuse me of "plundering the system" is very niave and infantile. I maximise my income, by attempting to deliver as many services as my paymasters commission-that is how a well run business works. i.e it delivers what is asked for. Ther funding cuts however, bear no relation to this arguement, They are just a synically treasury led agenda to save money on the poor-SORRY, the public services-which the poor rely on more than the rich. A different arguement for a different day

S Pessina, Pharmacist Director

David Williams, you are missing the point that Ms Stone is trying to highlight and that is the government perspective of pharmacy and pharmacists , represented by the largest multiple in the country . That also appears to be further aggravated e by the recent controversy concerning "Emergeny EHC".  To succeed in  this world is all about perspective and generally Pharmacy is " the Governments rubbing rag" !!!!!! So stopping whining and consider for a minute why that is.

Tom Kennedy, Pharmacy Area manager/ Operations Manager

Well said Mr Williams, I give a similar inspiratinoal speach to my pharmacists too, combine it with enough pressure and I can have them churning out MURs at the counter in under a minute.  With the threat of disciplinaries and no more shifts for locums they're more than willing to  bypass all this confidential nonsence and get the all important patient signature.  

I really don't know why you're staying behind to write them up though, perhaps you need to move away from the old paper system, with the electronic MUR recording you just keep pressing 'enter' and you'll have it completed in 15 seconds.  Like you said... 95% have no issues anyway.  Now go spend your newly aquired free time with your family.... You're most welcome.

Sharon Stone, Communications

The problem may be that the politicians believe ( rightly or wrongly ) that pharmacy is on a gravy train and doesn't help when Boots etc PLUNDER and ABUSE ( already proven) the system for every MUR and NMS £ , and will do anything to maintain that avaricious feeding frenzy . So they think we'll just grab it back .

S Morein, Pharmacy Area manager/ Operations Manager

Mr Modi has been saying the same thing for every Cat M adjustment and yet there are no closures, contractors continue with investment in their premises and the cherished so called network continues to thrive. A simple search of this website will reveal that Mr Modi has made similar claims 7 times in the last 30 months after each adjustment yet nothing of any substance has happened to contractors. The "crying wolf" syndrome due to the adjustments that are so clearly a fundamental attribute of the contractual framework reflects poorly on so many.

Dave Downham, Manager

Quite right. There are no locums seeing their rates slashed, no pharmacists being put under pressure with higher targets, no older professionals being pushed out to be replaced by cheaper younget models, no investment decisions being put on hold by local contractors. I believe that the story of the boy that cried wolf that you are referring to, Ms Morein, ended in a pool of blood.

janet maynard, Community pharmacist

My rates have been cut!

S Morein, Pharmacy Area manager/ Operations Manager

Mr Downham as you should know the reason for the downward pressure on locum and other pharmacist wages is the vast expansion of newly qualified pharmacist numbers due to the extraordinary growth in unversity places. It is a simple supply and demand wage deflation situation, due to the supply of pharmacists increasing but the demand remaining stagnant because of contract limitation.

Ilove Pharmacy, Non Pharmacist Branch Manager

No one of significnce is listening Mr Modi.

Dave Downham, Manager

You're right, you are.

Ilove Pharmacy, Non Pharmacist Branch Manager

False threats aren't working. The government have their mind made up.Only £££££££ will get them to change it 

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