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PSNC will ask for five-year contract with earlier monthly payments

Fin McCaul: PSNC will look for funding for all FMD costs – hardware, software and workload
Fin McCaul: PSNC will look for funding for all FMD costs – hardware, software and workload

PSNC will be asking for a multi-year funding settlement, with earlier monthly payments and reimbursement for FMD costs, in its upcoming negotiations.

In negotiations it hopes to start in April, the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) said it will be looking for a settlement of “more than one year, hopefully up to five” akin to the new GP contract announced last month.

PSNC will call for a longer contract to allow contractors “some time to understand the future and to plan and deal with your businesses accordingly”, director of funding Mike Dent said in a video shown to delegates at the Sigma conference in Muscat, Oman on Sunday (February 17).

“There is a lag to get the full money”

The negotiator will also be addressing the timing of contractors’ monthly payments, Mr Dent said.

“One of the most complex things [contractors] deal with is the whole advance recovery process. You're never quite sure how much you're going to get paid, so we'd like to be able to clarify that for you.”

This could be possible if the proportion of items dispensed via the electronic prescription service (EPS) increases to between 80% and 90% following the service’s full rollout, he added.

PSNC’s regional representative for north-west England Fin McCaul said that as more prescriptions become electronic, “there's no reason why we couldn't get paid as close as possible to when we need to pay for our wholesaler bills that month”.

At the moment, “there is a lag for us to get the full money” from the NHS Business Services Authority of up to two months after dispensing, Mr McCaul told C+D.

“If we get paid for everything that was dispensed in January at the end of February, then when we pay our wholesaler bills it's really manageable.”

Full reimbursement for FMD

Mr Dent said PSNC will also ask the Department of Health and Social Care (DH) for “recognition of the costs of implementing the Falsified Medicines Directive (FMD)”.

The EU’s anti-counterfeit legislation – which requires all pharmacies to be able to scan barcodes on medicines packaging at the point of dispensing – came into force on February 9.

Building on a commitment announced in October to discuss FMD remuneration with the DH, Mr McCaul said PSNC would look for funding to cover the costs of hardware, software and staff workload.

The cost of hardware and software is “very little compared to the processing costs” of staff scanning packaging, Mr McCaul said.

“We will be looking at all scenarios for that and negotiating with the DH as to what's the most appropriate funding mechanism.”

Any funding for FMD compliance will be discussed in negotiations post-April, Mr McCaul said.

“The DH are not going to pay us upfront for it anyway, because they'll always retrospectively pay,” he added.

Follow @CandDThomas on Twitter to catch up with all the latest coverage from the Sigma conference in Muscat.

What do you think PSNC's priorities for the next round of negotiations should be?

Richard MacLeavy, Dispenser Manager/ Dispensing Assistant

How about funding for Tray patients

TasB H, Community pharmacist

What utter drivel from PSNC... how about getting rid of claw back for branded products? How about replacing ncso with a system that actually works and reflects the true cost of securing medication for patients? How about a proper overhaul of the drug tariff costs which reflect our current reality? How about a proper funded minor ailment scheme and a proper funded chronic meds management
scheme? How about funding us to actually provide preventative healthcare in a fully funded fashion..
The list is endless.... instead we have a negotiator who is about as useful as a chocolate teapot!

Paul Dishman, Pharmaceutical Adviser

We were promised faster payments when EPS was being foisted on us 10 years ago. 

Reeyah H, Community pharmacist

It’s a little concerning that the 5 year contract will give business owners time to ‘think what to do’. It’s like saying ‘We want to make sure you think of closing down, as you won’t survive the 5 years’. Hope I’m wrong. 

Graham Turner, Non Pharmacist Branch Manager

The PSNC should be renamed as the PDNC - the Pharmaceutical Do-Nothing Committee.

Nothing they ever do ever has any impact whatsoever on the industry, but I'm sure all the top bods are on a whacking salary.

Paul Guest, Manager

I'd rather four more years of Trump than five years of a PSNC-DH negotiated deal.

N patel , Non Pharmacist Branch Manager

my fellow contractors  ...we are royally and totally screwed if  psnc continue negotiating on our behalf this way. Look at ehat they are not talking about:                                                                                          increase in renumeration to match increasing costs of runninf a pharmacy              increase in basic drug tariff prices to match increased meds costs   ...etc etc the list is endless.....instead of which they are talking about earlier advance payments which is of little use in the long run and a piddlind refund on FMD i have always aid the psnc does NOT reallly represent independent  contractors and is no longer fit for purpose                 

*This comment has been edited to comply with C+D's community principles*




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