Scotland contractors get 3.6 per cent funding boost

The global sum for pharmacy contractors in Scotland will increase by £2.6 million for 2018/19 to £180.96 million (Ross Ferguson reports).

For the first time, £20 million will be mapped from Part 7 of the Drug Tariff to the global sum as a result of a further reduction of £10 million (30 per cent) in pregabalin reimbursement (starting June 1, 2018) and a balancing figure across a small group of drugs. This takes the guaranteed element of the funding package to £200.96 million.

In addition, the minimum retained margin for contractors is set at £100 million, which is down from £110 million last year. Any amount earned above this will be shared on a 50:50 basis with NHS boards and contractors. The “non-global sum” remains at £1.3 million.

The total settlement package is £302.26 million, which compares with an equivalent figure of £291.66 for 2017/18 — an effective increase of 3.6 per cent.

The generic clawback will be 1.5 per cent, effective from June 1, to give back the £5 million accumulated as part of the 50:50 margin share arrangements for 2017-18.

An additional agreement will mean that in the event of market deterioration during 2018-19, there will be a temporary suspension or adjustment to the generic clawback rate to ensure the pharmacy network has sufficient cash liquidity.

Reaction

Matt Barclay, director of operations at Community Pharmacy Scotland (CPS), said: “This settlement will reduce the reliance on reimbursement of the cost of medicines and continue the process of developing our contractual arrangements to reflect funding alongside appropriate service provision to the Scottish population.

“This principle is a mutual aim of both CPS and the Scottish Government to build a sustainable funding model to support the pharmacy network and support [our] aspirations over the coming years.”

Numark welcomed the £2.6 million funding increase and the lessening of the reliance on reimbursement-based medicines supply.

“This is recognition that pharmacy in Scotland continues to move more towards delivery of services while protecting against the continual fluctuations of pricing in the medicines supply chain”, commented managing director Jeremy Meader.

Numark would like the other home countries and their negotiating bodies to use the Scottish model as a template for moving towards a service orientated contract, he added.

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