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Pharmacies who do not submit Covid costs claim will still need to repay loan, PSNC warns

Covid costs

By Beth Gault

12 Aug 2021

The Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) has warned that pharmacies who do not submit Covid costs claims will still be required to help repay the £370m loan from the Government.  

It comes as the deadline for submitting the claims is on Sunday 15 August at 11:59pm.  

PSNC said any contractor who has not yet submitted a claim should do so as ‘a matter of urgency’, and urged people to review their guidance on the process.  

‘Contractors who do not make a Covid-19 costs claim should be mindful that their pharmacies will be subject to the same repayment of the £370 million loan as other pharmacies,’ said PSNC.  

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

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

Contractors can 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.  

The Department of Health and Social Care also plans to begin repayments of the £370m loan from October in six equal monthly payments.  

In March this year, pharmacies protested in response to the Government’s refusal to write off the £370m loan the sector was given during the pandemic.  

In the same month, PSNC warned that pharmacies had incurred costs of over £400m due to the pandemic. PSNC chief executive, Simon Dukes, asked the chancellor to write off the Covid-19 loans, as pharmacies had been spending in ‘good-faith’ that their Covid-related costs would be covered, or else risk pharmacy closures. 

It comes despite the chancellor promising the NHS would get whatever resources it needed to tackle the pandemic in March 2020.   

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