The ‘overwhelming majority’ of community pharmacy contractors have submitted a claim to cover their Covid-19 costs, the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC)has announced.  

However, the total amount that has been requested is ‘significantly higher’ than the amount the Government initially agreed to offer contractors, (PSNC) said in a statement published on their website last week (3 September). 

PSNC has not disclosed how much money has been requested by pharmacy contractors, however, they did say that the total claimed is ‘significantly higher than the £120 million offered initially to the sector by HM Government and rejected by PSNC’.  

Pharmacies were able to claim 13 months’ worth of uncapped Covid-related costs until 15 of August, following a deal between PSNC and the Government in June.   

The agreement meant pharmacies in England could claim Covid costs from between March 2020 and March 2021, rather than the initially proposed three-month period.   

In its statement, the body added: ‘The Drug Tariff outlined the categories according to which contractors could claim and clearly stated that claims would be subject to pre and post-payment verification.  

‘PSNC is now engaged in urgent discussions with NHSBSA and the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) about any outliers identified.’ 

Contractors could claim non-staff costs, and multiple contractors can make a single claim per business, rather than a separate claim per branch.   

Payments for claims will be paid on 1 October in a single payment.   

Back in March, pharmacists in England began to protest in response to the Government’s so far refusing to write off the £370m debt the sector was given as a support loan during the pandemic. 

The Government is set to begin recouping the £370m from October, seeking repayments in six equal monthly sums. 

Last month, PSNC warned that pharmacies who did not submit their Covid costs claim by the deadline would still be required to help pay back the loan.