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PSNC rejects Government’s ‘insufficient’ pricing reform proposals


PSNC rejects Government’s ‘insufficient’ pricing reform proposals

The PSNC has rejected “insufficient” proposals from the Government and NHS England around price concession reform and relieving pressure on pharmacies. 

The negotiator revealed in a February 17 statement that its committee had met earlier this month to consider these proposals against the backdrop of a “worsening situation” in England’s pharmacies that is being “exacerbated by spiralling workforce costs, dispensing at a loss, inflation and rising demand from patients”.

“The committee rejected the proposals on both price concessions and relief measures as being insufficient to meet the sector’s needs,” it said.

The PSNC noted the “high level of interest” among ministers and other decision makers in an expanded role for community pharmacies, “particularly in using a Pharmacy First approach and making use of PGDs and the skills of independent prescribers”.

“But we have made clear to them that without new money this is all a pipedream: we need an urgent injection of funds into the sector, otherwise we will continue to see a degradation of services and eventual collapse of the network. The committee is clear that there is no further place for warm words while pharmacy collapses.”

Chief executive Janet Morrison commented: “Pharmacy owners up and down the country are in a devastating position. Having stepped up so bravely to support patients and the public during the COVID pandemic, you are now having to take desperate measures just to keep the doors open; gone are any hopes of turning a profit.

“These were the stories that PSNC Members shared from their own businesses and those of fellow contractors, and it was in this context in which they considered proposals from Government and NHS on price concessions and on regulatory easements.

“Both proposals were rejected – they went nowhere near far enough to solving our current struggles. We have written to the Department and NHS to that effect, once again setting out for them the decision that Ministers face: a decision about whether to step in and help our resourceful, valuable and much-needed sector; or whether to stand by and watch funding cuts continue to decimate it.”

Ms Morrison said the PSNC would continue to “present short and long-term solutions to Government” alongside its ongoing influencing and campaigning work.

The DHSC has been approached for comment.

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