FreeStyle Libre Sensors to be exempt from discount deduction

FreeStyle Libre Sensors to be exempt from discount deduction

June 26, 2019

FreeStyle Libre Sensors will enter the Drugs for which Discount is Not Deducted (DND) list (Part II of the Drug Tariff) from 1st July 2019.

The assumed level of discount normally applied when community pharmacy contractors dispense medicines and appliances will no longer be applied to FreeStyle Libre Sensors. This follows negotiations between PSNC making representations to the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) about the difficult position that contractors have found themselves in when trying to source this appliance.

Since extra NHS funding was made available for the prescribing of Freestyle Libre Sensors in April 2019,  there has been seen a surge in the number of prescriptions dispensed by community pharmacies for this item. The sensors can only be ordered directly from the manufacturer, Abbott Ltd, and contractors have reported to PSNC that they were dispensing each pack at a loss because there is no discount available, yet the item was subject to the discount deduction scale.

Due to the unique nature of FreeStyle Libre Sensors and its restricted ordering system, PSNC requested that it be considered for addition to the DND list to help mitigate against any further losses incurred by contractors when dispensing this appliance. PSNC, with the support of Abbott Ltd, made its representations to DHSC, who agreed to the addition of FreeStyle Libre Sensors to the DND list.

Bharat Patel, an independent community pharmacy contractor and PSNC Regional Representative for the East and Vice Chair, said:

“When a product like Freestyle Libre is not exempt from discount deduction, it puts contractors like me in an awkward position. We know how this appliance can help transform the lives of patients living with diabetes and so are keen to dispense it, but we could not continue to cover the difference between the purchase and reimbursement prices out of our own pockets. I am therefore delighted that DHSC has recognised and addressed the issue in a timely manner.”

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