Drug price concessions for generic medicines dispensed in December have been published on time — averting a repeat of the cash flow crisis that occurred in November.
The Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) said on 2 January that it was still discussing outstanding concessions on a “few” products with the Department of Health (DH), which it expected to be completed by 5 January — the deadline for pharmacist to make a claim to the NHS Prescription Service for prescriptions dispensed in December.
So far, 54 price concessions have been agreed for December.
High prices for some drugs that appear on the December list reflect the pressures in the market for the products that have pushed costs up, a spokesperson for the PSNC said.
She told The Pharmaceutical Journal: “The prices are set by what we have found in the market; where prices are high, it reflects the pressures on getting that drug.”
The PSNC was unable to say whether it was confident that the delays in agreeing concession prices with the Department of Health (DH), which have dogged recent months, are now over.
She said: “The list of concessions is quite long and has been long for the last few months. We will start talks about the concessions for this month as soon as we can.”
In November, there was an unprecedented delay in reaching national agreement on drug price concessions for dispensed generic products that month, which led one representative body to declare that community pharmacists were facing the “worst month for 30 years”.
By the end of November, only 38 of 97 generic price concessions applied for by the PSNC had been agreed with the DH, which increased cash flow problems for contractors.
Agreement on the outstanding products was finally agreed by the middle of December, although PSNC said then that some were fixed at a lower price than they hoped for while other products had failed to make the list.