The Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) “discussed proposals from the DH on changing the system for setting price concessions” at a committee meeting in the second week of January, the negotiator said in a statement last Thursday (January 18).
Under the current system, PSNC submits claims for price concessions to the DH, which the government then verifies using data from wholesalers and manufacturers, the negotiator explained.
PSNC would not confirm to C+D what the DH’s proposals for a new system entail. C+D has also contacted the DH for details of the proposals.
"Key principles" of a "fair" system
At its January committee meeting, the negotiator agreed “key principles” for a “fair” system of price concessions.
These include “any data used to set prices must relate to the period for which a concession is given”, and “PSNC must be able to challenge proposed price concessions”.
C+D reported in December that contractors in England were “highly stressed” waiting for concessionary prices for items including levetiracetam, amlodipine and felodipine. Contractors were then left “sickened” by the final 53 concessionary prices for November, when they were announced on December 14.
“Purchasing medicines for the NHS is a huge part of what the sector offers,” PSNC said last week.
However, “contractors must not be the victims of adverse events or activity further up in the supply chain”, and “any pricing system must fairly balance contractors' duty to supply with a reasonable purchase risk”, the negotiator added.
PSNC said it will continue to “press for immediate improvements to the price concessions system” and will keep contractors updated with its progress.
Last week, PSNC director of NHS services Alastair Buxton told delegates at a pharmacy seminar that the negotiator will “present [its] ideas” for a service-based pharmacy contract to the DH and NHS England in its upcoming funding discussions.