LPS pharmacies reconsidered for PhAS payments

LPS pharmacies reconsidered for PhAS payments

July 26, 2017

PSNC has been working with the Department of Health (DH) and NHS England to recognise the unique position of Local Pharmaceutical Services (LPS) which returned to the pharmaceutical list and were effectively excluded from the Pharmacy Access Scheme (PhAS).

LPS pharmacies that returned to the pharmaceutical list recently, or will return before 31 March 2018, are unable to meet the eligibility requirement for a pharmacy to have been on the pharmaceutical list on 1 September 2016; and, in most cases, apply for a review before the end of February 2017.

NHS England and DH have accepted that, in principle, all LPS pharmacies returning to the pharmaceutical list after 1 September 2016 should be:

  1. considered for PhAS eligibility; and,
  2. able to seek a review (for inaccuracy, physical feature anomaly or near miss), if not automatically eligible.

There will be appropriate changes to clarify this in the Drug Tariff. LPS pharmacies will still be required to meet the other criteria to be eligible for PhAS payments, i.e. to be more than a mile away from the nearest pharmacy and not be in the top 25% of pharmacies by dispensing volume.

NHS England has already considered any speculative review applications made by LPS contractors before their pharmacies returned to the pharmaceutical list and is expected to communicate with other LPS pharmacies (and former LPS pharmacies that returned to the pharmaceutical list after 1 September 2016), as appropriate, to explain the situation.

There is a note of caution. While some LPS pharmacies may appear technically eligible for PhAS payments, they may not receive any additional funding. This is because PhAS payments do not replicate or replace any LPS payments that were additional to Drug Tariff or equivalent funding. Also, smaller volume pharmacies that did not receive, and therefore have not lost, the Establishment Payment may actually benefit from the new higher Single Activity Fee (as opposed to the previous lower dispensing fee), so there may be no gap to ‘top-up’.



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