The new discount deduction to community pharmacy payments scheme has been labelled ‘a kick in the teeth’ to some of the ‘hardest working’ community pharmacies across the UK.
The Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee announced last week that a new discount deduction system has been agreed with the Department of Health and Social Care for the application of discount deduction to community pharmacy payments which will be implemented in six financial quarters beginning in October 2022 and concluding in January 2024.
Under the new discount deduction system, the current single scale will be split into three groups: one each for generic medicines, branded medicines, and appliances.
Separate fixed deduction rates have been determined for each group.
Anup Sodha, Managing Director at leading independent pharmaceutical wholesaler Lexon, has said that now is the ‘wrong time’ to increase clawback on generic medicines and claims the scheme will affect the people working hardest to provide the best service for their communities.
Mr Sodha said: “The new pharmacy discount scheme negotiated by the PSNC is a kick in the teeth for 8,296 community pharmacies, whilst only 2,811 are better off.
“Now is the wrong time to increase clawback on generics whilst so many price increases and shortages.
“In real terms, when using the PharmData calculator, there isn’t going to be a huge loss for most people as it all averages out.
“However, the issue is that this will affect people at community pharmacies who work the hardest and provide the best service to the customers and communities.
“This is also a symptom of reduced wholesaler models, where instead of challenging low margins on brands, PSNC and the Government are focusing on penalising pharmacies on generics where the competition they have created have lowered tariffs in real terms.
“There really is no need for this clawback – just allow market competition which has ensured the UK has amongst the lowest generic prices in the western world.”