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Scottish pharmacies receive emergency funding injection


Scottish pharmacies receive emergency funding injection

The Scottish Government has implemented an interim cash injection of £20m over the remainder of 2023/24 to ease pressures related to medicines price increases on community pharmacy businesses.

Community Pharmacy Scotland on Tuesday rejected an initial funding offer from ministers after an emergency meeting last week, saying it was unhappy with both reimbursement and remuneration elements of the package.

Welcoming the £20m announcement “at a time when some of our members report having to borrow to keep their doors open and support their local community's healthcare needs”, CPS nevertheless emphasised that this amount was not sufficient to cover the increase in the cost of commonly prescribed medicines.

“While £20 million appears to be a very big number, it represents only 1.74 per cent of the annual medicine spend for Scotland,” the negotiator pointed out.

“We have had reports that costs have increased by over three times this amount. That is why our negotiations must continue and a much improved offer must be forthcoming from Government colleagues to ensure that current service levels are maintained and access to healthcare is provided.”

Chief executive Harry McQuillan added: “We are encouraged by both the emergency injection of £20m to the tariff and Humza Yousaf’s assurances at FMQs yesterday [June 1] that the Government would continue to engage with CPS and 'ensure that pharmacies up and down the country are funded to the level they require'.” 

“However, whilst this is a welcome step forward we have a long way to go to an acceptable resolution. The action so far is insufficient to keep doors open and meet community healthcare needs.”

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