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Pharmacy Voice calls for major reform of script pricing system

Business Pharmacy Voice claimed the payment system was "broken" and, in a letter to the government and PSNC, chief executive Rob Darracott (pictured) called for a "firm timetable" for the implementation of a more modern system.

The NHS prescription payment system is "broken" and in need of "major reform", Pharmacy Voice has said in a letter to the government and PSNC.

Members continued to find "significant errors in the pricing of their prescriptions", said Pharmacy Voice, which represents the majority of UK contractors. Confidence could only be restored by "a major reform of the system", it added in the letter sent earlier this month in response to the paymaster, the NHS Business Services Authority (BSA), revealing underpayments of £1.5 million.

"An interim solution which allows ad-hoc verification of pricing accuracy by pharmacies would be a start" Rob Darracott, Pharmacy Voice

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Pharmacy Voice chief executive Rob Darracott went on to call for the Department of Health (DH) to publish a "firm timetable for the implementation of a more modern and transparent system. Providing pharmacists with a complete breakdown of their claim is a minimum necessary step at this moment".

"An interim solution which allows ad-hoc verification of pricing accuracy by pharmacies would be a start. We note that such a system has already been implemented in Wales," Mr Darracott said.

Contractors no longer have confidence in a system that "was not fit for purpose, Pharmacy Voice IT lead Gareth Jones told C+D. "The whole system is really outdated and no other industry works in this way."

"Its own report said the DH had six months to get a grip on the situation. It's six months down the line and we're still waiting," Mr Jones added.

PSNC told C+D it agreed with Pharmacy Voice's position. "We are pressing for a new and reliable pricing system and we last week met with the DH and are exploring how transparency in pricing could be improved," PSNC chief executive Sue Sharpe said.

A DH spokesperson said it looked forward to receiving Pharmacy Voice's letter and would respond in due course.

What changes would you like to see the prescription pricing system?

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K.J P, Locum pharmacist

I urge all contractors to forgo £400 and have
Rxs rechecked
That way .. We get the true picture re remuneration
And wake up ..THE PAYMASTERS

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