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Contractors may be reimbursed if cuts court cases succeed

David Reissner: The threat of funding cuts is still out there

Pharmacists could expect some reimbursement through the drug tariff if the legal challenges against the funding cuts are successful, a leading lawyer has suggested.

The High Court is due to hear legal cases on the validity of the funding cut decision in England, from both the National Pharmacy Association (NPA) and the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) on March 20.

After giving a presentation on these cases at the Sigma conference in Rio de Janeiro this week, David Reissner, senior partner at law firm Charles Russell Speechlys LLP, was asked by a delegate whether contractors could expect any payback from the government if the Department of Health (DH) loses either case.

“If the judicial reviews are successful and the minister has to halt the cuts and restart the consultation process, I would expect there will have to be a [reimbursement] of the cuts through some mechanism in the drug tariff,” Mr Reissner told conference delegates on Monday (February 13).

However, Mr Reissner stressed that even if PSNC or the NPA are successful in court, this will not guarantee the funding cuts are scrapped for good.

“It doesn’t take away the minister’s [power] to decide [to impose cuts] all over again once a proper consultation has taken place,” he warned.

“I don’t think we should be under any illusion that the threat is still out there.”

More from Mr Reissner's presentation
How are you coping with the funding cuts?

Uma Patel, Community pharmacist

Don't hold your breath

M Bannister, Community pharmacist

'Pharmacists could expect some reimbursement'
Shouldn't this be 'PHARMACY CONTRACTORS'?

Journalists are always publishing 'pharmcists' in place of 'pharmacists contractors' and it's misleading to the public.

Valentine Trodd, Community pharmacist

Objection your honour, conjecture. Nice trip to Rio? All inclusive?

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