a scottish flag image cbJune 18 2018

Funding for the community pharmacy contract in Scotland has been announced with a £2.6 million increase in the Global Sum for 2018-19. The 1.46% increase resets the Global Sum at £180.959 million, while the non-Global Sum element will continue at the same level as for 2017-18 at £1.3 million.

The settlement will see community pharmacy contractors retaining a guaranteed minimum margin of £100m, averaging around £80,000 per pharmacy. “Should market conditions permit, any amount earned above the guaranteed minimum margin will be shared on a 50:50 basis with NHS Boards and pharmacy contractors continuing to share risk and margin,” says the NHS Circular announcing the settlement.

The margin earned in 2017-18 and subject to the 50:50 sharing arrangements will be subject to clawback provisions in 2018-19, with the clawback accumulated in 2017-18 estimated at £5 million. As such, the generic clawback will be applied at the rate of 1.5% effective from 1 June 2018, said the NHS circular. This compares to the 0% discount clawback rate introduced in June 2017.

Other aspects of the contract announced in NHS Circular: PCA (P)(2018) 7 include: 

  • there will be a reduction of £10m (30%) on Pregabalin capsules in Part 7 of the Drug Tariff (generic drugs) effective from 1 June 2018;
  • £20m will be mapped from Part 7 of the Drug Tariff (generic drugs) to the Global Sum, comprising “a further substantial reduction in pregabalin and a balancing figure across a small group of drugs”;
  • the guaranteed element of the funding package will deliver £200.959 million inclusive of the re-baselined Global Sum and the £20m mapped from Part 7.

Commenting on the contract agreement, Community Pharmacy Scotland said: “This settlement will reduce 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. 

“This principle is a mutual aim of both CPS and the Scottish Government to build a sustainable funding model to support the pharmacy network and support the aspirations of our Vision and ‘Achieving Excellence in Pharmaceutical Care’ over the coming years.

CPS will be working with the Scottish Government’s Health Department to allocate the Global Sum for this financial year. 

Scottish Government NHS Circular: PCA (P)(2018) 7       
CPS statement