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Revised methadone dispensing fees go under review

By News team

A review of new dispensing fees for methadone oral liquid has been launched by the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee, to establish whether the payments reflect the actual costs to community pharmacists.

Changes to the fees were introduced this month (July 2012), linking payments to each occasion methadone oral liquid is dispensed rather than to the number of daily containers supplied. The new arrangements sparked concerns among contractors, some of whom are set to lose a sizeable chunk of revenue (PJ 2012;288:634).

Now the PSNC has said that, because of back from contractors, its Drug Tariff simplification group will review the new fees. The group is inviting comments on the issue until the end of August 2012, and will also take into account comments that have already been sent to the PSNC.

Findings from the review are due to be reported in October 2012, and the PSNC has promised to push the Department of Health to make any fee adjustments that the review shows are needed.

PSNC chief executive Sue Sharpe said: "We are anxious to ensure that we have taken into consideration all the costs of supply of oral liquid methadone in calculating the fee level.

"Methadone fees are charged to the total funding pot, so it is important to ensure that pot is distributed as fairly as possible. The changes in payments for some contractors from the new fee structure are substantial, and the PSNC needs to be sure that they are not being underfunded for this important work."

See also: Transitional methadone payments aim to take sting out of changes

Citation: Electronicjuice URI: 11104220

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  • Liquid methadone being poured

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