Prescription switch charges continue for pharmacies

Some pharmacies are reportedly still incurring charges for prescriptions that have been switched from exempt to chargeable by the NHS Business Services Authority.

The issue came to the fore in May when the PSNC said it had noticed a larger number of switches than normal. Pharmacies are charged £9.15 per switched form.

Forms are switched by the NHSBSA if they are found to be incomplete, for example if a patient has not signed the exemption declaration, leading to the prescription charge being deducted from the contractor’s payment.

Martin Bennett, the managing director of Wicker Pharmacy, revealed on Twitter that his business received 55 unsigned exemption switches at a cost of more than £500 during March and April.

Pharmacist Vanessa Roach tweeted: “Also any scripts that slip through unsigned by the GP don’t get returned and don’t get paid I believe. We don’t even know if there are any.”

The PSNC has previously said that pharmacy teams limiting their exposure to paper prescriptions in order to maintain infection control is one possible reason that forms are being left unsigned.

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