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Contractors ‘sickened’ by final 53 November concessionary prices

The 53 price concessions do not include much-requested felodipine
The 53 price concessions do not include much-requested felodipine

Contractors were unimpressed by the final 53 concessionary prices for November, announced by the Department of Health (DH) and National Assembly for Wales yesterday.

While Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) chief executive Sue Sharpe said her organisation “is pleased that further November prices have finally been issued”, she stressed that “many are lower than we had sought, and some concessions we applied for have not been granted”.

PSNC revealed last week that it requested 67 price concessions in total – 14 more than have been granted (see table below).

C+D reported earlier this month that contractors in England were “highly stressed” waiting for concessionary prices for items including levetiracetam, amlodipine and felodipine – the latter of which did not make the list.

Responding to the latest concessionary prices, the superintendent pharmacist of Broadway Pharmacy in Preston, Michael Ball, tweeted: “I honestly feel like giving up. It’s just one blow after another, beyond sickening.

“I feel like I need to determine how substantial the loss is, but then I’ll just be even more depressed and not spending the time productively," he continued. "[I'm] honestly flabbergasted. Scary times.”

Excluding felodipine was “a joke”

Contractor Nat Mitchell from Cockermouth, Cumbria said it was “a joke” that felodipine was not among the 53 items, and that bicalutamide’s concessionary price was as low as £4.99 for 28 150mg tablets. “I feel like I’m being defrauded,” he added.

Fellow Cumbria pharmacist Ben Merriman said one wholesaler had priced bicalutamide at £39.

Newcastle-upon-Tyne pharmacy manager Rani Rehan said “thankfully” her pharmacy does not have patients on felodipine or bicalutamide, but described her reaction to the £53.63 concessionary price for 60 tablets of quetiapine 300mg as: “Ouch.”

Contractor Tony Schofield – also based in Newcastle – said “all the major wholesalers” are offering quetiapine at £136, and “the best [price] we could get” occasionally is £73.

Supplying at a loss?

Contractor Suketu Patel from Cheshire said he will “have to seriously consider” whether to supply medicines not granted a concessionary price at “below actual purchasing price”, or not at all.

Reacting to the news, Wyvern Pharmacy contractor Andrew Grierson tweeted: “Show of hands how many small contractors didn't submit items for fear of losing out on a crippling amount of money, and now have to wait with fingers crossed for December.”

PSNC’s Ms Sharpe said she hopes the DH will respond to requests for December price concessions – submitted earlier this month – in a “more timely manner”.

Further November concessionary prices
Drug
Strength
Form
Price
Amlodipine
10mg
tablets (28)
£2.06
Aripiprazole
10mg
tablets (28)
£1.42
Aripiprazole
15mg
tablets (28)
£2.25
Aripiprazole
5mg
tablets (28)
£8.00
Betahistine
16mg
tablets (84)
£6.16
Betahistine
8mg
tablets (84)
£3.06
Bicalutamide
150mg
tablets (28)
£4.99
Bicalutamide
50mg
tablets (28)
£21.12
Chlorpromazine
100mg
tablets (28)
£28.00
Chlorpromazine
25mg
tablets (28)
£16.07
Chlorpromazine
50mg
tablets (28)
£28.00
Citalopram
20mg
tablets (28)
£2.07
Citalopram
40mg
tablets (28)
£3.74
Diamorphine
30mg
powder for solution for injection ampoules (5)
£16.52
Exemestane
25mg
tablets (30)
£46.99
Fexofenadine
120mg
tablets (30)
£2.72
Fexofenadine
180mg
tablets (30)
£2.89
Gabapentin
100mg
capsules (100)
£3.93
Gabapentin
300mg
capsules (100)
£7.74
Gabapentin
400mg
capsules (100)
£7.99
Glimepiride
1mg
tablets (30)
£1.96
Glimepiride
2mg
tablets (30)
£2.62
Glimepiride
3mg
tablets (30)
£3.92
Glimepiride
4mg
tablets (30)
£5.43
Haloperidol
5mg
tablets (28)
£3.45
Lacidipine
2mg
tablets (28)
£1.75
Lacidipine
4mg
tablets (28)
£3.45
Levetiracetam
100mg/ml
sugar-free solution (300)
£30.00
Levetiracetam
1g
tablets (60)
£60.33
Levetiracetam
250mg
tablets (60)
£20.72
Levetiracetam
500mg
tablets (60)
£33.41
Levetiracetam
750mg
tablets (60)
£63.72
Losartan
100mg
tablets (28)
£1.29
Mebeverine
135mg
tablets (100)
£6.95
Olanzapine
10mg
tablets (28)
£26.78
Olanzapine
20mg
tablets (28)
£52.02
Olanzapine
5mg
tablets (28)
£9.63
Olanzapine
7.5mg
tablets (28)
£20.47
Perindopril
2mg
tablets (30)
£9.00
Perindopril
4mg
tablets (30)
£9.00
Perindopril
8mg
tablets (30)
£8.10
Pregabalin
225mg
capsules (56)
£3.37
Pregabalin
25mg
capsules (56)
£6.03
Pregabalin
300mg
capsules (56)
£9.37
Quetiapine
300mg
tablets (60)
£53.63
Rasagiline
1mg
tablets (28)
£7.80
Rizatriptan
10mg
tablets (3)
£13.37
Topiramate
25mg
tablets (60)
£8.00
Topiramate
50mg
tablets (60)
£14.00
Venlafaxine
37.5mg
tablets (56)
£1.99
Venlafaxine
75mg
tablets (56)
£6.10
Vitamin B Co
strong
tablets (28)
£4.69
Zolmitriptan
2.5mg
tablets (6)
£12.82
17 Comments
Question: 
Are there any concessionary prices you were hoping for?

O J, Community pharmacist

First world country a.k.a third world country corruption. The regulatory bodies are impotent to police the pricing.
Clueless superiors with offshore accounts - just a thought.

Ilove Pharmacy, Non Pharmacist Branch Manager

Spot on. The whole thing is designed and engineered for a few to profit hugely. CORRUPTION is the word but it's usually reserved for far way countries where the people look different.

cardiff pharmacist, Superintendent Pharmacist

what does anyone expect...you all seem to have forgotten Pregabalin...reimbursement 100mg packs £96.60...cost approx £3.00....for Englant in may 16 across preg range £15million per month profit...DoH wants it back!

Ilove Pharmacy, Non Pharmacist Branch Manager

That's known as selective memory. Now sshhh please before the public find out.

M Nazari, Community pharmacist

Copy and paste with today’s date and you be the judge;

PSNC Announced Price

Bicalutamide 150mg tablets (new) 28 £4.99

AAH – Out of Stock

Colorama £38.25

Waymade £38.25

Beta - £24.50

 

We have patients on this cancer drug and it’s available in the market and hence dispensed it on many occasions during the past month and ordered it at even higher price than the supplier’s today’s price but now the price that pharmacies will get reimbursed is £4.99. We as pharmacist do not control the supply chain and had to state this obvious fact, so no blame is proportionated at any pharmacist for the prices of medicines in today’s market. The only victims here are pharmacies and pharmacist and not even the patients as we won’t let them without their medicines no matter what as long as we can get it from suppliers.

Ilove Pharmacy, Non Pharmacist Branch Manager

Yes, lots of money has to be made for  even if some unfortunate patients have to die. I think the message is clear. Huge pallets of the drug will be collecting dust in a warehouse somewhere.....

N patel , Non Pharmacist Branch Manager

to all us muppetts out there in pharmacyland.... time to stop dispensing at a loss...no point putting patients needs before your bottom line cause if it goes on like this there will be no indies left and i dont think that the patients you are going out on a limb  to keep supplied  at  a loss are going to bail you out...they will just move to p2u ot superdrug or even boots                  ....................dont hold yout breath hoping that the psnc or the doh will sort this out because they really dont  care about you  only the multiples

 

 

 

Barry Pharmacist, Community pharmacist

What a reprehensible non-pharmacist you really are. 

I can't quite decide whether your best described as the muppet character Charlie the Ogre or a pantomime villain? I think you're just a rat from Dick Whittington.

N patel , Non Pharmacist Branch Manager

NAAAAAH..........me just the ghost of pharmacy future   ...telling you all just like what it is gonna be.....Barrybhai aaah have not insulted you but you pass judgement on me .....takes all sorts of bertie bassets i s'ppose

Z ZZzzzz, Information Technology

Your last sentence is exactly why the DH does not care about the difference between concessionary prices and what pharmacies actually pay. Don't you think it a bit odd that there have been no comments from anyone at the top of Lloyds or Boots with regards to any of this. I think The Times should do a bit more in depth investigating as to why the "shortages" and price manipulation is happening, instead of just reporting the facts that there is not really any shortages but price manipulation does happen. PSNC, I expect, know exactly who and why these things are happening but are colluding with DH and the majors to ensure 25% of pharmacies close.

N Patel, Pharmacy owner/ Proprietor

I think he’s trying to blame the chains and they’re vested interest and ownership of the wholesalers manipulating the market in their favour which disadvantages the independent. 

 

 

Stephen Kane, Community pharmacist

In November I was repeatedly offered Bicalutamide 150mg (x28) for £200 by OTC Direct. Where did £4.99 come from? Can the D of H tell us which wholesaler, who has stock, is selling at this price. If not, why not?

Gurdev Sehmi, Superintendent Pharmacist

I would like to ask how the department of health decides on what to pay for drugs?  I am shocked at the prices they have said for november price concessions, as they have clearly not reviewed the prices that we are paying.  Can the department of health comment on this?

Ilove Pharmacy, Non Pharmacist Branch Manager

Better still why don't C&D approach then on our behalf......

Hadi Al-Bayati, Locum pharmacist

Once all the independents have closed then all this will settle back down....

Edward H Rowan, Locum pharmacist

It seems to be troubling multiples as well judging by the Lloyds situation.

Barry Pharmacist, Community pharmacist

Hadi what do you mean? If you mean this is designed to force independents to close then I agree. If you think that the pricing fiasco is because of independents you are deluded.

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