Details of the new specials tariff, that comes into effect on November 1, have been unveiled by the NHS Business Services Authority (NHS BSA) and PSNC.
The specials prices, which are being introduced as a new section of the Drug Tariff, will replace category E in a move designed to create a "more transparent system for reimbursing specials".
Prices for 58 specials now appear under Part VIIIB of the Drug Tariff, which NHS BSA says will "capture the majority of high cost, high volume specials prescribed".
The list of products in the tariff will be reviewed every six months, while prices will be reviewed quarterly. And the prices would be calculated using a "similar" system to category M, said NHS BSA.
Pharmacists buying specials at a higher price than that listed would not be reimbursed the extra cost, it warned.
"Pharmacy contractors are expected to shop around and negotiate lower prices in a similar way as they do for generics," NHS BSA said.
But contractors were advised to contact PSNC if they experienced "exceptional circumstances", when it would look at applying for an NCSO concession.
Specials that are not listed under the tariff will be reimbursed differently, depending on where the product was manufactured.
Products made by an MHRA-licensed manufacturer will be reimbursed at the invoice price, minus any discounts or rebates. There will also be a flat fee of £20 to contribute to any out-of-pocket expenses.
But if the product is manufactured under the section 10 exemption in the Medicines Act, pharmacies will be reimbursed for the cost of the ingredients. And there will be a £20 extemporaneous dispensing fee for the cost of preparing or sourcing the product.
Pharmacists should endorse prescriptions ‘SP' to claim out-of-pocket expenses and ‘ED' to claim the extemporaneous dispensing fee.
Full details of the tariff and how to endorse prescriptions are available here.