Broken bulk

Broken bulk

Endorsing workshop promoThe broken bulk (BB) endorsement enables community pharmacy contractors to claim payment for a complete pack of a product where only a part-pack has been dispensed. For a claim to be accepted, contractors must dispense from the pack or combination of packs that minimises the residual balance. Contractors should only claim Broken Bulk where it is unlikely that they will be able to dispense the remainder within the following six months.


The products on which BB can be claimed are as follows:

Yes No
  • Part VIIIA Category C
  • Part VIIIA Category A and M products with smallest listed pack size of £50 or over
  • Readily available medicinal products outside of Part VIIIA
  • Part IXB
  • Part IXC
  • Ingredients used to prepare an unlicensed special (extemporaneously dispensing)
  • Special containers
  • Part VIIIA Category A and M products with smallest listed pack size of less than £50
  • All unlicensed specials and imports*
  • Part IXA
  • Part IXR

* Unless claiming for ingredients used to prepare an unlicensed special extemporaneously dispensed.


To ensure payment, contractors must endorse:

  • BB’ ; and
  • The quantity dispensed over pack size used (see example below).

BB claim

Sorting and submission

Prescription forms with BB expense claims need to be separated and placed in the red separator before submission.

Subsequent supplies within six months

When a broken bulk claim is accepted, contractors will be reimbursed for the complete pack dispensed. Subsequent prescriptions received during the next six months do not need an endorsement of BB as they will be deemed to have been supplied from the remainder. During this time, no further payment will be made other than fees and consumable allowances until the remainder has been used up.

Schedule of Payments

The FP34 Schedule of Payments includes a section which shows the number and value of expensive items which were dispensed during the month, which have an item value of £100 or more. The prices quoted on the Schedule are the basic price of the quantity prescribed/ dispensed and do not include any additional fees or adjustments due to broken bulk claims.


The cost of the quantity prescribed for the drug where broken bulk is claimed is charged back to the prescribers CCG’s budget. The difference in cost between the prescribed quantity and the dispensed quantity for a broken bulk claim is centrally retained and fairly shared across all Primary Care Organisations who issue prescriptions under Primary Care Services.


Q. I have received a prescription for Hydroxycarbamide 500mg capsules x 84 (a Category A product), but this only comes in a 100 pack size. If I cannot claim broken bulk, can I refuse to dispense the product?

No. As laid out in Schedule 4 of the NHS (Pharmaceutical and Local Pharmaceutical Services) Regulations 2013 (the Terms of Service), contractors are required to fulfill all prescriptions for medicines with reasonable promptness. The ‘Standards of conduct, ethics and performance’ issued by General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) in September 2010 also states that a pharmacist must make sure that their professional judgement is not affected by “personal or organisational interests, incentives, targets or similar measures.”

Q. I have received an FP10 prescription for 7ml of Zopiclone oral suspension 75mg/5ml. My specials manufacturer will only supply a minimum size of 10ml. Can I claim broken bulk on this?

Broken bulk cannot be claimed on unlicensed specials manufactured or supplied by a company operating under an MHRA specials licence. It should be noted that in Part VIIIB of the Drug Tariff, there is a minimum reimbursement price set against a pack size of 100ml – so a contractor would be paid the list price for 100ml, even where less was prescribed.”

However, if a product has been extemporaneously dispensed by the pharmacy contractor, broken bulk is allowed on the ingredients used to make it. This is to cover times when the contractor may not have the opportunity to use the remainder of the open container used in preparing the special.

Q. I have received a prescription for Sando-K effervescent tablets which comes as a pack of 100 in tubes of 5 x 20 tablets. If I receive a prescription for 20 tablets can I claim broken bulk for the 100 tablets?


No, Sando-K effervescent tablets have a special container status, and as such, you cannot claim broken bulk (BB) on special containers. In this scenario, the sub-pack of 20 is a special container and falls under the special container rules therefore, you will be reimbursed for 20 tablets.”

Q. How do I make a broken bulk claim on an EPS R2 prescription?


Your pharmacy system should enable you to make a broken bulk claim through manual endorsement against the item during the dispensing process.  If you are unclear on how to do this, refer to your pharmacy system manual or speak with your pharmacy system supplier for guidance.”

Related resources

REF: Drug Tariff Part II, Clause 11

Category A & M products eligible for Broken Bulk


Endorsement Guidance

Daily Dispensing Checks

PSNC maintains a list of all Category A and M products which have a smallest pack size of £50.00 or over as per the current Drug Tariff. This can be accessed below:


Category A and M products eligible for Broken Bulk – January 2017

Category A and M products eligible for Broken Bulk – December 2016

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