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Community pharmacies will not lose out in the new contract

I write regarding Hemant Patel’s article ‘For community pharmacists, the new contract does not add up’, published in The Pharmaceutical Journal on 27 September 2019. I need to correct some inaccuracies in Patel’s narrative on the new community pharmacy contractual framework.

The deal ensures that funding levels are maintained at their current levels until 2023/2024. Patel is correct to say that the establishment payment is being phased out, as are medicines use reviews (MURs), but this will not mean a loss to contractors because the money that has been funding both of these elements is being reinvested into other areas of the contract; therefore, the total funding levels remain the same. It is wrong to present the phase-out of these as losses because the money is not being lost by the sector.

Furthermore, Patel’s calculation of how many consultations contractors would need to carry out, as part of the clinical pharmacist consultation service, in order to match their current funding levels via the establishment payment and MURs, is incorrect because it does not consider the transitional payments through which some of this funding will now be distributed to contractors.

Finally, in talking about capacity, Patel does not acknowledge that the removal of MURs will free up at least some capacity in pharmacies.

 

Simon Dukes, chief executive, Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2019.20207258

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