Common issues that can lead to pricing errors

Common issues that can lead to pricing errors


Endorsing and Submission Good Practice Workshop
Endorsement Guidance
Dispensing Factsheet: Prescription endorsements
Prescription payment and pricing accuracy factsheets

On this page we highlight common sorting and endorsing errors identified by PSNC’s Pricing Audit Centre team that can lead to pricing errors. One common issue identified is where items that meet the red separator inclusion criteria have not been included in the their relevant red separator. The NHSBSA issues contractors with three sets of red separators each month to sort certain types of paper prescription forms into their relevant exempt, paid or old charge rate groups. The prescription forms that meet the criteria set out below should be included in their relevant red separator red separator to ensure that these forms are subjected to additional checks by operators at the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA).

The image below shows the different types of prescriptions that should be placed in the red separators.

Prescription forms containing the following are required to be placed into red separators:

For more information on the red separators including details of the recent changes to the inclusion criteria for red separators and submission guidance see our page Red Separators – end of month submission

Common endorsement issues leading to pricing errors/missed payments are:

Error type Common issue identified  Guidance 
Endorsing Area

Endorsements encroaching on to the main body of the prescription which can obscure the product and or the quantity ordered.

In example 1 the endorsement for the second item is printed partly over the quantity ordered which can lead to the quantity being misread. In example two the ticks have encroached in to the prescribing area obscuring the quantity prescribed, this could result in the quantity prescribed being misread.

Example 1


Example 2

Endorsements should be correct and legible and in the left hand margin only. 

Do not tick or mark the anywhere within the prescribing area.

See our Endorsement guidance page


Prescriptions endorsed for the supply of multiple flavours when the prescription has been prescribed in a way that only allows payments for a single item.

Paper prescriptions 

In the example below the item has been prescribed as ‘flavour not specified’, ‘flavour not specified’ is classed as a single item attracting only one fee. Only one fee would be paid regardless of how many flavours are endorsed.

EPS prescriptions

In the example below the item has been prescribed as ‘flavour not specified’. For EPS prescriptions prescribers must select ‘AF’ on their prescribing system to enable contractors to claim for dispensing multiple flavours. Unless ‘AF’ endorsement is selected by the prescriber, only one fee per item is paid regardless of how many flavours are endorsed.

Prescriptions for multiple flavours need to be endorsed correctly to ensure reimbursement for the appropriate number of Single Activity Fees (SAF), the SAF is paid automatically for all eligible items and, where a prescription orders multiple, assorted, various or mixed flavours, one SAF can be claimed for each flavour supplied and endorsed.

See our Items With Multiple Flavours page for guidance on the different scenarios of how prescribers will send prescriptions to pharmacy teams and how pharmacy teams should dispense and endorse them as well as covering how pharmacy contractors will be paid in these scenarios.

Not Dispensed

Incomplete endorsing can lead to incorrect pricing of products, fees and patient charges. In the examples below, not dispensed items should also be crossed through in the prescribing area.



For items not dispensed on paper prescriptions, ‘ND’ should be endorsed and the item should be crossed through in the prescribing area.

For EPS, pharmacy teams are reminded to set the item to a status of ‘Not Dispense’ rather than endorse a quantity of zero dispensed

Please note: If the patient pays for their prescription, the pharmacy would be deducted a patient charge unless the pharmacy correctly endorses ‘ND’ and scores through the product

See our Endorsement guidance page

Specials & Imports – Sourcing Fee

SP has not been endorsed/ SP endorsed on an ineligible product.


In order to claim the £20 fixed fee for the costs of postage, handling and delivery etc pharmacy teams must endorse prescriptions for an unlicensed special or import with ‘SP’

For more information on unlicensed specials and imports including endorsing and submission wee our page Unlicensed specials and imports.


Useful links

For endorsing guidance see our page here.

For endorsing guidance for prescriptions containing items available with multiple flavours see our page here.

For information on red separators see our page Red Separators – end of month submission and our Guidance on the use of red separators for end of month submission factsheet.

For information on prescription submission requirements see our page here.

For guidance on sorting paper prescriptions with old charge rates that meet red separator criteria see our story Correct submission of forms and items paid at the old charge rate.

For information on the end of month submission process for completed RB items see our Prescription returns page.


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