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PSNC urges DHSC to improve price concessions amid supply concerns

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PSNC urges DHSC to improve price concessions amid supply concerns

The PSNC has insisted some drug price concessions imposed by the Department of Health and Social Care do not reflect “contractors’ experience on the ground” and urged ministers to improve the process.

Pharmacy’s negotiator said the number of concessions is on the increase, with over 100 granted during some months, and urged contractors to inform it about pricing issues.

Insisting it had “escalated the situation” and its concerns with the DHSC, the PSNC said it was seeking an improved, streamlined concessions process as well as better information for contractors.

A survey by the PSNC this year found 83 per cent of pharmacies had experienced “a significant increase in medicine supply issues” in the last 12 months, two-thirds of respondents said supply issues were occurring daily and 97 per cent said it was causing frustration among patients some of whom had behaved aggressively towards pharmacy teams.

“The current volatility and pricing issues in the medicines supply chain are extremely concerning to PSNC. We know that they are having a very negative impact across the sector, often on a daily basis,” said PSNC director legal Gordon Hockey.

“It is also particularly concerning to hear from pharmacy teams who report that some patients are showing aggression to pharmacy teams as a consequence of these sustained issues.

“Pharmacies are doing everything that they can to manage supplies and patient expectations, but it is not acceptable that they are being put in this situation, on top of all the other critical issues and pressures that they are facing at the moment.

“We are continuing to seek price concessions from DHSC on a monthly basis, alongside escalating this within the Department.”

The PSNC said there were several other options for contractors facing supply issues, including contacting different wholesalers and suppliers to obtain stock, reporting products that are only available at a higher price than that listed in the Drug Tariff to the PSNC, checking current serious shortage protocols and talking to the GP to see if an alternative medicine can be provided.

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