The Scottish community pharmacy global sum has increased by £2.6m, taking it to a total of £183.559m for the 2019/20 funding contract, the Scottish Government has announced.
The non-global sum will remain at its current £1.3m level, it said yesterday (25 April).
The national minor ailments service integrated with the Pharmacy First Service, which remunerates pharmacies for treating urinary tract infections and impetigo, at the beginning of this month, with funding sticking at the current £1.1m level, it added.
Due to a further £20m being mapped from the Drug Tariff in the 2019/20 contract, earmarked to be ‘spread among a basket of targeted drugs’, and an additional £20m mapped from the 2018/19 Drug Tariff, Scottish Community pharmacy funding now stands at a total of £224.659.
The part 7 (generic) Drug Tariff discount clawback will be reset to 6%, effective from 1st April, and the Part 11 discount clawback rate will be reset to 4.92% effective from 1st May 2019, the contract said.
‘Not quite the deal we wanted’
Commenting on the deal, Community Pharmacy Scotland (CPS) said: ‘While the package could not be accepted by the CPS Board, we do appreciate the constructive nature of the intense talks with Scottish Government colleagues who worked to try and achieve an acceptable outcome.
‘The financial package is not quite the one that CPS wanted to see, [but] there are nevertheless many outputs within this package that CPS were willing to accept. In particular, we welcome the commitment to Pharmacy First through the introduction of funding into guaranteed streams.’
CPS’s chairman of the board Martin Green added: ‘We are not quite where we want to be with this negotiated financial package and I sincerely hope that we can continue to work with the Scottish Government to resolve our one remaining difference and will be looking for a commitment to do so.
‘Nevertheless, this financial package has been negotiated during a time of significant political uncertainty and during a financially challenging period for all parties involved. We have reached this point and are disappointed full resolution couldn’t be achieved but will continue to work on designing future services for patients such as the extended minor ailment service, which should be ready to roll out in April 2020
Longer funding assurance would have been preferable
Numark’s head of professional and patient services Rajshri Owen commented: ‘Although this is a one-year commitment, Numark recognises that although a year of stability and predictability is an advantage, a longer period of funding assurance would have been favoured by Scottish contractors – particularly as we still remain uncertain how, when or even if Brexit will happen.
‘The package also includes Pharmacy First service becoming integrated with the national minor ailment service from 1st April 2019. However, the remuneration level will be set at the existing level of £1.1 million. We are pleased to see that this arrangement not only recognises but also cements the enhanced role of pharmacists within primary care.’
Phil Galt, National Pharmacy Association (NPA) Board Member for Scotland, said: ‘We applaud both the constructive spirit in which the talks have been conducted and the continued commitment on all sides to developing community pharmacy services, including the Pharmacy First programme.
‘We look forward to more details emerging as soon as possible to enable our members to plan ahead with the fullest possible knowledge of the financial situation.’