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CPS concerned about funding negotiations

By Scotland Correspondent

Negotiations on remuneration for community pharmacists in Scotland are ongoing with two meetings scheduled for the next two weeks. However, funding talks to date have been difficult, with Community Pharmacy Scotland rejecting the Scottish Government's first offer as "totally unacceptable" and the Government subsequently reducing Drug Tariff prices.

In the latest issue of its newsletter, CPS states: "At the current time, it has still not been possible to reach a settlement. CPS is very concerned that there is unlikely to be any uplift on the global sum unless Tariff prices are reduced again."

Elspeth Weir, head of policy and development at CPS, told PJ Online that there is no deadline for the completion of negotiations. Asked what would happen if an agreement could not be reached, she said: "We would request a meeting with the Cabinet Secretary. It is always open to the Scottish Government to impose a settlement but we try to avoid that wherever possible."

Negotiations particularly tough this year

Martin Green, CPS chairman, explains: "This year's negotiations have been particularly difficult and this has been against the backdrop of the worst trading conditions of my tenure as chairman. I am fully aware of the strain on contractor cash flow and as a result I am not in a position to propose that contractors accept the current Scottish Government offer."

One area of concern is a difficulty in sourcing some generic medicines at Tariff prices. Therefore, CPS will be using the results from a spot check on contractors' invoices conducted in January to illustrate how the generic supply market is performing. Results of the spot check are expected imminently.

Citation: Electronicjuice DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2013.11121848

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