Inducements

Inducements

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Pharmacy Regulations 2013

FAQs

Q. Can I offer a free gift such as a voucher for new patients who bring in a prescription to be dispensed by the pharmacy for the first time?
A.
No. The Terms of Service state that a pharmacy must not offer any gift or reward to any person as an inducement to: a) present an order for drugs or appliances on a prescription form or repeatable prescription; b) nominate the pharmacy as their dispensing contractor; c) receive any Advanced or Enhanced Services. A ‘gift or reward’ would include vouchers, money or reward points. Additionally, the terms of service state the pharmacy must not offer any gift or reward to any person for recommending the pharmacy to others for provision of the above mentioned services.

Q. Would providing a home delivery service for patients who bring prescriptions to the pharmacy be a prohibited inducement?
A. No. The Terms of Service permit the provision of a home delivery service, and the provision of ‘auxiliary aids’ without these being considered to be prohibited inducements.

Q. Can I offer a free gift such as a voucher to a patient for signing up to a prescription collection service?
A. There have been many different schemes established, where pharmacies offer to collect prescriptions from a surgery, where the patient has ordered these and authorised the GP to hand the prescription to the pharmacy, or where the pharmacy is authorised to order and then collect repeat prescriptions. It will be for NHS England’s Area Team in each case, to consider whether the service being offered contravenes the prohibition on gifts or rewards, including considering whether the service is associated with the presentation of an order for drugs or appliance.

Q. Can I offer a free gift such as a voucher for new patients who agree to an MUR or sign up for the New Medicine Service?
A. No. The terms of service state that a pharmacy must not offer any gift or reward to any person as an inducement to: a) present an order for drugs or appliances on a prescription form or repeatable prescription; b) nominate the pharmacy as their dispensing contractor; c) receive any directed services [i.e. MUR, NMS, Appliance Use Review service, Stoma Appliance Customisation service or NHS England commissioned Enhanced services]. A ‘gift or reward’ would include vouchers, money or reward points. There are limited exceptions, where a gift may be provided – i.e. the gift is supplied as part of the provision of the directed service, is directly related to the directed service, is supplied in order to encourage or promote health or well-being or the adoption by the patient or the patient’s family of a healthy lifestyle, and in the case on a gift which is not a medicine, has a monetary value not exceeding £10 or, in the case of a medicine, is supplied as part of the provision of a minor ailments service.

Q. Can I give the surgery staff a discount card in return for recommending my pharmacy?
A. No.  The terms of service prohibits the giving of a gift or reward to a ‘relevant person’ (meaning a provider of primary medical services or anyone employed or engaged by the provider) as an inducement or in consideration to the person recommending that a person presents a prescription to the pharmacy, or to nominate the pharmacy under the electronic prescription service (EPS) or to ask the pharmacy to provide Advanced or Enhanced services.



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