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DH proposes new system to decide concessionary prices

PSNC: Contractors must not be victims of adverse events further up the supply chain
PSNC: Contractors must not be victims of adverse events further up the supply chain

The Department of Health and Social Care (DH) has set out "proposals" to change the current system for agreeing price concessions, according to PSNC.

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.

What changes would you like to see to the current price concessions system?

Susan M Shepherd, Community pharmacist

Why not use the same system as NHS Scotland, where price concessions continue where there is an ongoing issue, so that contractors are not left in the lurch at the start of each month.

Sunny Jim, Pharmacy Buyer

Why not just open the whole market and let Pharmacy stand up on it’s on two feet rather than government subsidies     WENGER OUT

Ben Merriman, Community pharmacist

"Kevin Pieterson was right" and "Mesit Ozil" is now presumably back on here? Has (s)he at least invested in a spell checker? I'll forgive the incorrect apostrophe...

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