The new Scottish community pharmacy contract protects pharmacists against ‘continuously fluctuating’ medicines prices, an independent pharmacy support group has said.

Numark managing director Jeremy Meader said that an inbuilt 'clawback mechanism' that will be adjusted if the market sees further deterioration, Scottish contractors will be able to decrease their reliance on the medicine reimbursement system.

Scotland's chief pharmaceutical officer Rose Marie Parr announced on Friday (15 June) that the Scottish Government set up the pharmacy funding settlement at £180.959m for 2018/19 – a £2.6m increase on funding for the previous year.

The negotiator Community pharmacy Scotland (CPS) said the settlement 'reduces the reliance on reimbursement of the cost of medicines and continue the process of developing our contractual arrangements to reflect funding alongside appropriate service provision to the Scottish population'.


Moving towards service delivery


Mr Meader continued: ‘Not only does the increase in the global sum reflect the ambition to deliver the vision set out in the ‘achieving excellence in pharmaceutical care’ strategy, but also reduces the reliance on reimbursement around supply of medicines.

‘With the added acknowledgement that the clawback mechanism would be suspended or adjusted should there be further deterioration in the market place, this truly is a recognition that pharmacy in Scotland continues to move more towards delivery of services while protecting themselves against the continual fluctuations of pricing in the medicines supply chain.

‘Numark would like to once again encourage all of the other home countries and their negotiation bodies to aspire towards the Scottish model and use this as their template in achieving what is right and proper for community pharmacy across the UK.’


Generic clawback


The generic clawback rate in Scotland will rise from 0% to 1.5% to correspond to the £5m accumulated in 2017/18, according to Ms Parr.

She highlighted that ‘in the event of market deterioration, a support mechanism to ensure sufficient cash liquidity to the pharmacy network shall see the temporary suspension or adjustment to the generic clawback rate in 2018-19’.

The Scottish non-global sum will remain at its current level set at £1.3m.

More information on the Scottish funding settlement can be found here