Submitting electronic prescriptions
Prior to claiming for any EPS R2 prescriptions ensure procedures will ensure that prescriptions are submitted with all of the (a) correct exemption category (b) the correct endorsements where needed.
You may wish to delay sending each prescription’s claim notification message until there is a good time to check and correct exemptions/endorsements before sending, but also submit in a timely way before the point of expiry is reached.
Prior to submitting ensure that the correct exemption category has been applied to each EPS prescription. See here. Some contractors have found that it easier to capture the exemptions information onto the electronic message whilst the patient is present.
Prior to submitting ensure that the correct endorsement has been applied to each EPS prescription. See more information here.
Claiming within time and before expiry
EPS prescriptions are normally to be submitted and claimed by the 5th in the month after the month in which supply had been made. You will also need to ensure that prescriptions are submitted in a timely way to prevent them reaching the six month expiry date. This takes place six months after the final ‘dispense notification’. See more information here.
Frequently asked questions
Q. Will the Pricing Authority (PA) allow me to amend a prescription after I have already sent it to them for pricing?
A. A paper prescription cannot be amended after the PA has received it for pricing.
However with electronic prescriptions, it may be possible to make a change (such as amending an incorrect endorsement or adjusting the patient exemption category) after the prescription claim message has been sent to the PA. This is subject to the following criteria:
- your PMR system supplier must have added the functionality required to recall claim messages,
- it must be before the deadline of the 5th day of the month following that in which supply was made.
After this time the PA’s pricing process will begin and the prescription can no longer be recalled.
If these criteria are met, your PMR system can allow you to recall, correct, and then resend the electronic script to PA.
Q. Can I submit all of my electronic prescriptions at the same time?
A. PSNC has received reports that submitting a large number of prescriptions at once can take considerable time depending on the system which is being used, and also whether there are any technical issues occuring on the local or national level at the time of the sending. Whilst sending prescriptions, you should ensure that smartcard remains in place until all of the prescriptions which are being processed have been submitted.
Q. How can I reconcile the number of prescriptions I have submitted with the number which the Pricing Authority have priced?
A. Ensure that the total number of prescriptions submitted is included on the FP34C submission document, a copy can be taken for your records. Where the Pricing Authority identify a significant difference between your submitted total, and the number of prescriptions counted at the Pricing Authority, the pharmacy shall receive a phone call from the Pricing Authority. When the Schedule of Payments arrives, the number of items counted by the Pricing Authority should be similar to the number of items completed on the FP34C. For more assistance see here for further assistance on submission, and here for more information about claiming R2 scripts in time.
Q. I have part-dispensed an item and I’m waiting for the patient to collect the remainder. Can I claim for this item?
A. Pharmacist contractors would be expected to apply their judgement as to when and how much reimbursement to claim, as they do with paper prescriptions.
Q. The local prescriber frequently issues prescriptions for ‘Ensure Plus’ with the instruction ‘assorted flavours’, will this remain possible in EPS Release 2?
A. Yes, for food supplement/food replacement products, prescribers will continue to be able to request that a variety of flavours are dispensed. The GP’s prescribing system will support the prescriber in issuing a prescription using the products ‘Virtual Medicinal Product’ name and the prescriber endorsement to request that ‘Assorted flavours’ are dispensed. The pharmacy will continue to receive one Single Activity Fee for each flavour endorsed and dispensed, where assorted flavours are requested by the prescriber.
GP systems may have some remaining assorted flavour listings within their local databases for use with paper prescriptions, but EPS prescriptions can only be issued for items listed in the NHS database. There are not specific listings for ‘assorted flavours’ listed within the NHS database because the GP endorsement is needed instead for EPS dispensing and reimbursement.
Q. I have had to dispense a prescription from 2 different packs to make up the requested quantity. In the past, I would just endorse this on the form (e.g. 14 tablets from the 28 pack and 14 tablets from the 56 pack) and this would be taken into consideration when calculating reimbursement. Can I make an electronic reimbursement claim in this way?
A. Yes, 2 different SNOMED codes can be added to a dispensed “event” so for example if 50 tablets of Drug A were prescribed and the pharmacist has dispensed this quantity from 2 different available packs then the message would state:
Prescribed – Drug A snomed code with quantity of 50
Dispensed – Drug A pack size 1 snomed code with quantity
Dispensed – Drug A pack size 2 snomed code with quantity
Q. I have received a prescription requesting “Levothyroxine Sodium 100mcg tablets (Actavis UK)”. Do I have to dispense the Actavis brand and what will I be reimbursed for?
A. Levothyroxine sodium 100mcg tablets are listed in Part VIII of the Drug Tariff. When a prescription requesting generic “levothyroxine 100 mg tablets” is received the pharmacist can dispense any brand and will be reimbursed according to the Drug Tariff price for the product.
However, where a prescription for a generic product specifies the name of a manufacturer or supplier, legally and ethically that manufacturer’s product must be dispensed, and the pharmacist would be reimbursed based on the manufacturer or suppliers list price rather than the Drug Tariff price. Out of pocket expenses in procuring the product may be claimed, where appropriate. Guidance on out of pocket expenses can be found here.
PSNC has received a number of reports of GPs inadvertently issuing prescriptions in this way because of the way products are listed in the picking-list of their prescribing system. This practice is not in the interests of patients, the NHS or community pharmacies. For example, this could lead to increased prescribing costs and delays in patients obtaining their medicine.
If contractors identify this as an issue in a locality, this is something that should be discussed with the prescriber.
Q. Do NHS Prescription Services begin pricing electronic prescriptions as soon as they are received in-month?
A. No. NHS Prescription Services only begin pricing electronic prescriptions once they have received the end-of-month submission form (FP34C). This form covers both paper and electronic prescriptions and is submitted together with the paper prescriptions dispensed in the month concerned.
- Prescription submission home page (includes sub-pages: sorting scripts, completing FP34C and bundle, and returns)