National News

Identifying carers and care workers eligible for a flu vaccination

PSNC News - 2 November 2018 - 11:17am

Carers and employed care workers who are aged 18 years or over are included in the group of patients eligible for an NHS flu vaccination under the national Flu Vaccination service.

It is really important for carers and care workers to get vaccinated as if they were to catch flu and become ill, the welfare of the people they care for could be at risk. By being vaccinated, they will also be less likely to pass on the flu virus to the people they care for, which could have serious consequences for their health.

Unpaid carers

It can be difficult to identify who is a carer. A carer is a person who provides unpaid care for a family member, partner or friend who cannot cope without their support due to an illness, frailty, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction. The term ‘carer’ is sometimes confused with a care worker or care assistant; however, the difference is that a carer is unpaid whereas a care worker or care assistant is paid for looking after someone.

In the 2017/18 flu season only 39.9% of England’s carers were vaccinated against flu, which was slightly lower compared to 2016/17.

Community pharmacy contractors are therefore encouraged to try to maximise the number of carers and care workers that they vaccinate. To help with this, there are resources available on the PSNC website, which were created by PSNC and Carers Trust, to assist pharmacy teams in identifying carers who may be eligible for a flu vaccination:

  • flu vaccination poster – this poster is specifically aimed at carers; and
  • the 60-second pharmacy flu chat – this suggests how you can engage someone you think might be a carer in a quick conversation about why they should consider getting vaccinated.

PSNC has also produced a small double-sided carer flu flyer which can be attached to patients’ medicines bags highlighting that carers are eligible for a flu vaccination and states three reasons why they should have a flu vaccination.

In addition, Carers Trust has worked with NHS Employers to produce a document which contains a script and FAQs to help healthcare professionals have conversations with carers about the flu vaccination.

All of these documents can be accessed on the Identifying carers eligible for a flu vaccination page.

Carers Trust has also produced ‘ten signs that tell community pharmacy teams that someone may be a carer’. These are listed in the box below:

Social care (employed care or domiciliary care worker) and hospice workers

Health and social care staff, employed by a registered residential care/nursing home or registered domiciliary care provider or a voluntary managed hospice provider, who are directly involved in the care of vulnerable patients/clients are eligible for a free NHS flu vaccination.

To assist pharmacy teams, PSNC has produced the following resources:

  • template letter to local care providers – this can be used to inform them that community pharmacy teams can vaccinate social care workers;
  • template evidence of employment letter – pharmacy teams can share this template with employers of social care workers to use as proof of eligibility for vaccination; and
  • poster and counter top notice – this is aimed at social care workers to inform them they are eligible for a free NHS flu vaccination at the pharmacy.

These resources are available on the Flu Vaccination – promoting the service to patients page.

Further information on the Flu Vaccination Service can be found on psnc.org.uk/flu

Categories: National News

October 2018 Price Concessions/NCSO – FINAL update

PSNC News - 1 November 2018 - 4:00pm

Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has today (01/11/2018) set the FINAL price concessions for October 2018.

The new additions to the October 2018 price concessions list are below:

Drug Pack Size Price Concession Allopurinol 100mg tablets 28 £2.54 Allopurinol 300mg tablets 28 £5.83 Furosemide 40mg tablets 28 £2.49 Lamotrigine 100mg tablets 56 £20.76 Lamotrigine 200mg tablets 56 £24.17 Lamotrigine 50mg tablets 56 £8.95 Lercanidipine 10mg tablets 28 £4.02 Lercanidipine 20mg tablets 28 £7.87 Losartan 50mg tablets 28 £1.40 Naproxen 250mg tablets 28 £2.30 Nebivolol 5mg tablets 28 £6.54 Ondansetron 4mg tablets 10 £16.59 Ramipril 2.5mg tablets 28 £3.93 Risperidone 1mg tablets 20 £4.80 Risperidone 2mg tablets 60 £1.80 Risperidone 3mg tablets 60 £37.02 Risperidone 4mg tablets 60 £25.70 Risperidone 500microgram tablets 20 £3.03 Sevelamer 800mg tablets 180 £60.02 Telmisartan 40mg tablets 28 £9.31

DHSC previously (26.10.2018) granted the following list of price concessions:

Drug Pack Size Price Concession Brimonidine 0.2% eye drops 5ml £3.17 Diamorphine 10mg powder for solution for injection ampoules 5 £15.47 Hydroxocobalamin 1mg/1ml solution for injection ampoules 5 £9.50 Latanoprost 50micrograms/ml eye drops 2.5ml £9.50 Levetiracetam 100mg/ml oral solution sugar free 300ml £27.30 Metronidazole 400mg tablets 21 £7.00 Naproxen 500mg tablets 28 £5.00 Nicorandil 10mg tablets 60 £3.39 Propranolol 10mg tablets 28 £3.07 Propranolol 40mg tablets 28 £2.72 Propranolol 80mg tablets 56 £5.00 Ramipril 10mg tablets 28 £5.00 Tadalafil 5mg tablets 28 £28.50 Topiramate 50mg tablets 60 £9.38 Valsartan 40mg capsules 28 £5.15

DHSC previously (23.10.2018) granted the following price concessions

Drug Pack size Price Concession Amisulpride 100mg tablets 60 £8.25 Amisulpride 200mg tablets 60 £13.40 Amisulpride 50mg tablets 60 £5.22 Buprenorphine 2mg sublingual tablets sugar free 7 £5.25 Buprenorphine 8mg sublingual tablets sugar free 7 £15.40 Orlistat 120mg capsules 84 £24.01 Ramipril 5mg tablets 28 £5.54 Topiramate 100mg tablets 60 £18.68 Valsartan 160mg capsules 28 £11.95 Valsartan 80mg capsules 28 £9.95

No additional endorsements are required for price concessions. A price concession only applies for the month in which it is granted.

If you have problems obtaining a Part VIII product or problems obtaining the product at the stated Drug Tariff price, please report the issue to PSNC using the online feedback form on the PSNC Website.
Please include full details of the supplier and price paid for any products sourced above the Drug Tariff price. PSNC will investigate the extent of the problem and if appropriate discuss the issue with DHSC.

Categories: National News

FMD: 100 days to go – sign up for our webinar

PSNC News - 1 November 2018 - 1:46pm

Community pharmacy contractors need to comply with the requirements of the Falsified Medicines Directive (FMD) in one hundred days’ time (9th February 2019).

To mark this key date on the road to FMD implementation, PSNC has undertaken a full review of the content of the FMD Source website, with updated information, resources and new FAQs being added.

Pharmacy contractors that have not yet put in place plans to comply with the FMD requirements are advised to visit the How to get going with FMD page on the FMD Source website, for guidance from the UK  FMD Working Group for Community Pharmacy.

FMD webinar

PSNC will be holding a webinar on FMD on Wednesday 7th November at 7.00pm.

On the night Alastair Buxton, PSNC’s Director of NHS Services, will explain how the introduction of FMD will affect the day-to-day working of community pharmacy teams and what they need to do to prepare.

As well as describing the new processes that FMD will introduce, Alastair will also outline the guidance and resources developed by the UK FMD Working Group for Community Pharmacy, plus where to find further information and support. During the 60-minute webinar there will also be an opportunity for viewers to ask questions.

With the implementation of FMD just three months away, this webinar will provide contractors and their teams with key actions for them to undertake in advance of that date.

Register for our FMD webinar here

 

Categories: National News

MPs hear best practice in community pharmacy policy from the devolved nations

PSNC News - 1 November 2018 - 12:38pm

The All-Party Pharmacy Group (APPG) met yesterday (31st October) to hear about how community pharmacy is developing in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and what learnings England could take from this.

The meeting was chaired by Sir Kevin Barron MP and attended by Steve Double MP (APPG Vice-Chair) and Alex Chalk MP (Parliamentary Private Secretary to Matt Hancock, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care).

Discussion was focused around the strategies and objectives for community pharmacy in the devolved nations, plus examples of best practice from the different regions. The witnesses included: Harry McQuillan, Chief Executive of Community Pharmacy Scotland; Gerard Greene, Chief Executive of Community Pharmacy Northern Ireland; and Russell Goodway, Chief Executive of Community Pharmacy Wales. Simon Dukes, PSNC Chief Executive, was also in attendance as an observer.

Steve Double MP asked the negotiators what they thought the key challenges for community pharmacy were and all three representatives addressed a desire to move away from a contract modelled on dispensing. The group also heard about the challenge of moving services from pilot phases to national commissioning and why better IT integration is needed for pharmacy.

Sir Kevin Barron MP asked how pharmacies could help patients with minor ailments and long-term conditions, and the witnesses shared examples of services in their nations that were successful. MPs heard about the Common Ailments Service in Wales, where patients can access pharmacy treatment and advice for 26 conditions and Scotland’s Chronic Medication Service, a service for patients with long-term conditions, which was estimated to have dispensed 134,000 items last month.

Alex Chalk MP asked the witnesses what key message they would convey to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care about community pharmacy. Harry McQuillan stated that community pharmacy is a ‘willing partner’ and cited key areas of pharmacy integration with GP practices in Scotland as an example of how the professions can work together to produce good outcomes. Gerard Greene felt there needed to be a change in the direction of travel. He argued that primary care goes beyond general practice and highlighted how the accessibility of community pharmacies makes them ideally placed to support other primary care colleagues. Russell Goodway thought that there was not enough clarity between the Government and the community pharmacy sector, and called for a stronger, clearer vision as to where the sector might be in five years’ time.

The APPG is now working on a report based on the findings of this recent session, looking into how community pharmacy in England might be able to learn from examples within the devolved nations. Details of the report will be available on the PSNC website once it has been published.

Categories: National News

Funding 2018/19 webinar now on-demand

PSNC News - 31 October 2018 - 1:00pm

Community pharmacy contractors can now access an online recording of PSNC’s recent webinar on the 2018/19 funding settlement.

Almost 500 people registered for yesterday’s webinar hosted by PSNC Chief Executive Simon Dukes and Director of Pharmacy Funding Mike Dent. Simon and Mike used the webinar to answer contractors’ questions about the settlement, outlining what it means for your pharmacy and for the sector more broadly.

During the webinar, the presenters outlined the 2018/19 community pharmacy funding settlement and the background to its agreement, as well as explaining the changes to the Single Activity Fee and Category M prices. They described the differences that contractors will see in their payments from the NHS and explained to listeners where to find resources to help estimate the potential changes to your income.

This webinar was organised at short notice because PSNC is keen to share as much information about the funding settlement as we can and to answer any questions from contractors. If you weren’t able to join us, hopefully this recording of both the presentation and Q&A session will address some of your queries.

Click here to view an on-demand version of the webinar.*

You can also click here to view the slide pack used in the webinar.

*Please note, to watch the recording, you will need to register (or input the email address you registered with previously).

Some of the feedback we have received so far:

“Having heard your webinar congrats on your openness and transparency.”
Superintendent Pharmacist

“I think it was a great idea to reach out to contractors in this way. A perfect opportunity for timely two way communication.” – LPC Chief Officer

“Very clear and reasonable explanations. I’m pleased that such impressive characters are looking after the interests of community pharmacy.” – National Pharmacy Adviser

Categories: National News

Obesity and cancer – New resource from Cancer Research UK

PSNC News - 31 October 2018 - 10:34am

Cancer Research UK has published the latest edition of their pharmacy Cancer Insight resource, which focuses on obesity.

Obesity is the biggest preventable cause of cancer after smoking and around 22,800 cases of cancer in the UK are caused by excess body weight every year.

The resource contains answers to common patient questions, practical tips on how to discuss weight management with patients who are overweight or obese and a campaign poster.

Free copies of the resource can be ordered and/or downloaded from the Cancer Research UK website. Pharmacists and pharmacy staff can also sign up to receive future copies of Cancer Insight on the Cancer Research UK website.

Healthy Living Pharmacies

Healthy Living Pharmacy teams may wish to host a health awareness event/campaign on obesity and/or cancer as part of their ongoing health promotion activities. More information on hosting a health awareness event/campaign relating to those topics can be found on the PSNC health promotion ideas page.

Categories: National News

Regulatory changes enable EPS Phase 4

PSNC News - 30 October 2018 - 5:05pm

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has this week published regulatory changes relating to Phase 4 of the Electronic Prescription Service (EPS).

The National Health Service (Pharmaceutical Services, Charges and Prescribing) (Amendment) Regulations 2018, which come into effect on 26th November 2018, set out the legislative framework for EPS Phase 4. This phase will allow patients to have an EPS prescription dispensed by a pharmacy which is not their nominated pharmacy by presenting an EPS token with an appropriate barcode. Prescribers will not provide patients with an EPS token as standard; these will only be required where a patient has not nominated a pharmacy or they are planning to visit a pharmacy other than their usual one (e.g. if going on holiday).

The amended regulations also have repercussions for the collection of NHS prescription charges as the electronic message (rather than the dispensing token) will become the legal document against which the charge is recovered from community pharmacies and Real-time Exemption Checking (RTEC) will be enabled.

These regulatory changes form part of PSNC’s work with DHSC to make improvements in light of the review of the National Health Service (Pharmaceutical and Local Pharmaceutical Services) Regulations 2013.

Following recommendations from PSNC, some other changes will be introduced in regards to breach notices, market entry applications and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Breach notices: NHS England is required to make reasonable efforts to communicate with a community pharmacy contractor with a view to establishing whether there was a ‘good cause’ for a failure to open during core hours before issuing a breach notice. NHS England may also rescind a remedial notice or breach notice at any time.

Market entry applications: The rules on making representations at oral appeal hearings of market entry applications are simplified so that it is no longer necessary for certain third parties to indicate, when they make their written representations, that they also wish to make oral representations.

GDPR: The regulations include provision for the use of relevant information by NHS service providers, including contractors, and others processing data on their behalf, including PSNC.

Categories: National News

Medicinal cannabis available on NHS prescriptions

PSNC News - 30 October 2018 - 5:00pm

Changes to the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001 will reclassify cannabis-based medicines from Schedule 1 to Schedule 2 Controlled Drugs as of 1st November 2018.

The Home Office has announced that specialist doctors (not GPs) will have the authority to prescribe medicinal cannabis as appropriate and community pharmacy teams should be aware that NHS prescriptions for cannabis-based medicines may be presented at community pharmacies.

The new law will not limit the types of conditions that can be considered for treatment, but pharmacy teams should note that the Home Secretary has said that the penalties for unauthorised supply and possession remain unchanged.

Guidance

NHS England has provided guidance to clinicians which outlines what this regulatory change will mean in practice.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has issued specific guidance on the supply of cannabis-based products for medicinal use in humans.

Please visit the Controlled Drugs section of our website for more information on requirements for the dispensing of Schedule 2 Controlled Drugs.

Categories: National News

Temporary Interruption to distribution of GSK products

PSNC News - 30 October 2018 - 4:01pm

To facilitate the transition from a Direct to Pharmacy (DTP) model to a Reduced Wholesaler Model (RWM), GSK have placed a hold on the distribution of their products between 2pm on the 29th October and the morning of the 1st November.

Please note that any orders transmitted during this time will not be placed, and pharmacies should place an order again from the 1st November.

This follows the recent announcement that Phoenix was selected by GSK as one of three wholesalers to distribute GSK’s prescription medicines to community pharmacies throughout the UK.

Normal supply via AAH, Alliance Healthcare and Phoenix is expected to resume on the 1st November.

Please contact GSK if you are faced with a medically critical situation requiring stock on 0800 221 441

 

Categories: National News

Contractor reminder: are you claiming your flu vaccination payments?

PSNC News - 30 October 2018 - 8:57am

As the second month of the Flu Vaccination Service 2018/19 comes to an end, community pharmacy contractors are reminded of the need to submit their claims in a timely manner for any vaccines administered during October 2018.

PSNC recommends that contractors take the following actions:

  1. If you are claiming using the paper form, ensure you are using the correct claim form, which can be downloaded from the NHS BSA website – failure to use the correct form will result in non-payment;
  2. Ensure you submit your flu claim by the 5th of the month following that in which the vaccinations were administered;
  3. If you are submitting claims using the digital webform, ensure you select the correct month to claim for, as each unique URL will be valid for a single submission and subsequent submissions for that claim month using the same URL will not be possible. To claim for vaccines administered in October 2018, ensure you have selected the October calendar month, accessing the webform via the unique URL received by email on 1st November 2018; and
  4. Keep a copy of your flu claim form (if claiming via the paper claim form) or confirmation email (if claiming digitally) so that you can reconcile the claims against what the NHS Business Services Authority (NHS BSA) pays you.

Don’t forget: IT platforms such as PharmOutcomes or Sonar may allow you to print out the flu claim form; however, you cannot submit electronic claims for payment using these platforms. You must submit your claim separately to the NHS BSA via the printed form or using the digital webform.

Enhancements made to the digital flu claims process

Over 3,000 digital flu claims were received by the NHS BSA during the month of October. Based on feedback from contractors, the NHS BSA has made several enhancements to the digital flu claims submission process for October claims to make it as straightforward as possible.

Monthly overview report for flu vaccination claims

Community pharmacy contractors who are planning to submit their flu vaccination payment claims digitally can request a monthly overview flu claim submission report from the NHS BSA; this can be requested for an individual pharmacy or for all pharmacies in a payment group.

Requests for a monthly report should be sent as soon as possible to the helpdesk at nhsbsa.mys@nhs.net, stating the ODS code (or ODS codes if the request is for more than one pharmacy) and the job title of the person requesting the report. For head offices of pharmacy multiples, the Y Code should also be provided.

Please note, if you want to receive the report on a recurring monthly basis, please state this in the email requesting the report.

For more information visit psnc.org.uk/flu

Categories: National News

2018 Budget brings focus on mental health and high streets

PSNC News - 29 October 2018 - 8:10pm

Chancellor Philip Hammond has today pledged that funding for mental health services will grow as a share of the overall NHS budget over the next 5 years, and that HM Government will ensure that public health services will help people live longer, healthier lives.

In his 2018 Budget statement the Chancellor said that the focus on mental health services would take pressure off Accident and Emergency (A&E) departments and other public services.

Mr Hammond also set out a cut to business rates by a third for all retailers in England with a rateable value of £51,000 or less, and announced a ‘Future High Streets Fund’ worth £675m to help Councils to transform local high streets.

Announcing the Budget, Mr Hammond made the following points about health and social care:

  • The NHS Ten Year Plan will include a mental health crisis service, with comprehensive mental health support available in every A&E;
  • This focus on mental health will include the provision of more safe havens in the community;
  • The Budget provides an additional £240 million in 2018-19 and £240 million in 2019-20 for adult social care which will make sure people can leave hospital when they are ready; and
  • HM Government will ensure that public health services help people live longer, healthier lives.

The Budget announcement did not reveal any further details about the additional £20bn NHS funding as we await publication of the NHS Ten Year Plan, but the Chancellor did state that HM Government has set five financial tasks for the NHS as follows:

  • the NHS (including providers) will return to financial balance;
  • the NHS will achieve cash-releasing productivity growth of at least 1.1% a year (with a final number to be confirmed in the plan), with all savings reinvested in frontline care;
  • the NHS will reduce the growth in demand for care through better integration and prevention (with a final number to be confirmed in the plan);
  • the NHS will reduce variation across the health system, improving providers’ financial and operational performance; and
  • the NHS will make better use of capital investment and its existing assets to drive transformation.

Simon Dukes, PSNC Chief Executive, said:

“Public finances continue to remain very tight and this is certainly the case for the NHS which has been set some stretching financial challenges by HM Government. As expected, little detail about future health funding was revealed as we await publication of the NHS Ten Year Plan, but it is clear that prevention, and how we can reduce demand for services and help people to live longer, healthier lives, remains a key focus. Community pharmacies have the potential to contribute much of value in this area, acting as health and wellbeing hubs on local high streets, and we will continue strongly to make the case for that.

The reduction in business rates may bring welcome relief for some smaller community pharmacy businesses, and we were also pleased to note HM Government’s funding to help transform local high streets. Community pharmacies can provide a focal point for high streets, offering local communities a range of services that can help them to stay healthy and manage any conditions.

Community pharmacies have much to offer both high streets and the NHS, and we look forward to working with the other pharmacy organisations and HM Government to maximise this potential.”

Categories: National News

NHS Prescription Services ‘Hints & Tips’ – Issue 33

PSNC News - 29 October 2018 - 4:14pm

NHS Prescription Services produces a quarterly newsletter called “Hints & Tips for dispensing contractors”. The latest edition (Issue 33) contains some useful information and advice on:

  • Endorsing guidance
  • National ‘Check Before You Tick’ campaign
  • GPs piloting electronic prescriptions for Controlled drugs
  • Manage Your Service – the digital alternative
  • Prescription prepayment certificate digital updates
  • New EPS dispensing dashboard

Click here to access this month’s PDF version of Hints & Tips Dispensing Contractors.

To access previous issues of Hints & Tips click here.

Categories: National News

Real-time Exemption Checking – how will it work?

PSNC News - 27 October 2018 - 3:42pm

Earlier this month, the Department of Health and Social Care made an announcement on action which would be taken to reduce fraud against the NHS; this would include digitising information on exemption from prescription charges, via a project being undertaken by NHS Digital and the NHS Business Services Authority (NHS BSA), in collaboration with pharmacy PMR system suppliers. This project – known as Real-time Exemption Checking (RTEC) – has attracted a lot of media attention and comment, but the full detail of how RTEC will work has not been explained in the coverage of the announcement, leading to some misunderstanding of what will start to be implemented in 2019.

PSNC believes there will be clear benefits to pharmacy teams and patients when RTEC is rolled out, reducing the burden of the current prescription charge exemption system which pharmacy contractors are required to operate. This article explains how RTEC will operate and how the benefits it will bring to pharmacy teams and patients will be delivered.

How will RTEC work?

The system uses data on people’s prescription charge exemption status, held by the NHS BSA. The check of the NHS BSA data will usually occur automatically at the time the prescription is being processed in the PMR system to produce dispensing labels, but PMR suppliers have some flexibility about the point that the data will be requested from the NHS BSA using an Application Programming Interface (API) built into the PMR system.

Pharmacy staff will not normally need to check the patient’s exemption status more than once, but a second check will be possible, if the patient queries the initial status returned by the NHS BSA system. If the patient believes they are exempt from prescription charges, but RTEC returns no exemption information, the patient will complete a declaration on an EPS token in the normal way.

If a prescription is confirmed by RTEC as exempt, it will be treated as such by the NHS BSA and no further prescription exemption checks will be applied and the patient will not need to complete a declaration on an EPS token.

The benefits of RTEC

Through the operation of the system described in the above diagram, it is expected that RTEC will:

  • reduce the risks of contractor loss caused by pharmacy staff inadvertently submitting EPS prescriptions with a paid status when the category should have been exempt;
  • enable a reduction in the number of EPS tokens which have to be printed, completed by patients and then be sent from pharmacies to the NHS BSA;
  • provide a more efficient digital process for pharmacy staff, reducing the time spent helping patients complete declarations, checking physical evidence of exemption status and sorting tokens for submission to the NHS BSA;
  • reduce the risk to the NHS of prescription fraud due to a decrease in false prescription exemption claims; and
  • increase convenience for patients, as there will be less need for them to provide physical proof of exemption from prescription charges.
Roll-out plans

The system will be rolled out in phases:

  • Phase One will comprise maternity, medical, pre-payment, low income scheme and HMRC exemptions;
  • Phase Two will include all Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) exemptions, including Universal Credit when they become available; and
  • Once the first two phases are complete, NHS Digital plans to conduct a prioritisation and costing exercise to explore the possibility of including the Education and Ministry of Defence exemptions in the system.
Testing

NHS Digital and NHS BSA are working with several PMR suppliers to test this functionality; a pilot with one supplier is scheduled for late 2018. It is expected that all PMR system suppliers will work to update their systems to incorporate RTEC during 2019.

PSNC will provide further information on progress with the testing and rollout of RTEC as it becomes available.

 

Categories: National News

CPPE campaign: Medicines, people and value

PSNC News - 27 October 2018 - 8:00am

On Monday 22nd October 2018, the Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education (CPPE) launched its autumn 2018 learning campaign, entitled ‘Medicines, people and value’. The campaign will run for four weeks and enables participants to learn about the NHS England Medicines Value Programme and why it matters to pharmacy teams.

Each week, CPPE will release a short e-learning programme and suggest a challenge for participants to complete.

Key campaign dates:

  • Week 1 – w/c 22nd October – Medicines Value Programme – developing our roles
  • Week 2 – w/c 29th October – Medicines waste
  • Week 3 – w/c 5th November – Falls prevention
  • Week 4 – w/c 12th November – Antimicrobial stewardship

Join the campaign and show your support through posting about the campaign on Twitter and Facebook using the hashtag #CPPEautumn18

Categories: National News

October 2018 Price Concessions/NCSO – 2nd update

PSNC News - 26 October 2018 - 4:00pm

Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has today (26.10.2018) granted the following list of price concessions:

Drug Pack Size Price Concession Brimonidine 0.2% eye drops 5ml £3.17 Diamorphine 10mg powder for solution for injection ampoules 5 £15.47 Hydroxocobalamin 1mg/1ml solution for injection ampoules 5 £9.50 Latanoprost 50micrograms/ml eye drops 2.5ml £9.50 Levetiracetam 100mg/ml oral solution sugar free 300ml £27.30 Metronidazole 400mg tablets 21 £7.00 Naproxen 500mg tablets 28 £5.00 Nicorandil 10mg tablets 60 £3.39 Propranolol 10mg tablets 28 £3.07 Propranolol 40mg tablets 28 £2.72 Propranolol 80mg tablets 56 £5.00 Ramipril 10mg tablets 28 £5.00 Tadalafil 5mg tablets 28 £28.50 Topiramate 50mg tablets 60 £9.38 Valsartan 40mg capsules 28 £5.15

DHSC previously (23.10.2018) granted the following price concessions

Drug Pack size Price Concession Amisulpride 100mg tablets 60 £8.25 Amisulpride 200mg tablets 60 £13.40 Amisulpride 50mg tablets 60 £5.22 Buprenorphine 2mg sublingual tablets sugar free 7 £5.25 Buprenorphine 8mg sublingual tablets sugar free 7 £15.40 Orlistat 120mg capsules 84 £24.01 Ramipril 5mg tablets 28 £5.54 Topiramate 100mg tablets 60 £18.68 Valsartan 160mg capsules 28 £11.95 Valsartan 80mg capsules 28 £9.95

No additional endorsements are required for price concessions. A price concession only applies for the month in which it is granted.

PSNC is still working with the DHSC to agree further concessionary prices on other drugs reported to be unavailable at the stated October 2018 Drug Tariff price.  Contractors will be alerted to further updates to the price concession list through our website and via our e-news email.  If you wish to subscribe to our email list, you can receive an email as soon as any announcements are made. Please note that PSNC cannot provide details of any generic products awaiting price concession approval from DHSC.

If you have problems obtaining a Part VIII product or problems obtaining the product at the stated Drug Tariff price, please report the issue to PSNC using the online feedback form on the PSNC Website.
Please include full details of the supplier and price paid for any products sourced above the Drug Tariff price. PSNC will investigate the extent of the problem and if appropriate discuss the issue with DHSC.

 

Categories: National News

Community Pharmacy Brexit Forum: Update for pharmacies

PSNC News - 26 October 2018 - 1:34pm

The community pharmacy organisations are continuing to work together to support community pharmacies and their patients ahead of the UK’s exit from the European Union.

In September, PSNC’s Brexit Forum, which brings together the Chief Executives of the major representative bodies involved in community pharmacy and the medicines supply chain, met for the first time along with representatives from the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC). Organisations at the meeting included the NPA, CCA, AIM, PDA and RPS from pharmacy, as well as the Dispensing Doctors Association, Healthcare Distribution Agency and Proprietary Association of Great Britain.

Members of the group shared thoughts and concerns about Brexit and heard more about the DHSC plans to ensure that medicines supplies are maintained even in the event of a hard Brexit. Key topics that were discussed and will remain of interest to the group were:

  • Ensuring that the supply of medicines to community pharmacies and the patients they treat will be maintained post-Brexit;
  • The management of the 6-week stockholding for manufacturers and how this will be used to ensure continuity of supply to patients;
  • The additional costs for pharmacies associated with the Falsified Medicines Directive (FMD) and uncertainty as to how implementation of the Directive will work post-Brexit;
  • The potential impact of Brexit on the number of pharmacy registrants in the UK; and
  • Possible further measures that could be taken to assist pharmacists seeking to source medicines for patients who need them following Brexit.

The Forum also discussed an ongoing Inquiry by the Health and Social Care Committee who are examining what the effects of a no-deal Brexit might have on the health sector. The organisations on the Brexit Forum have now submitted responses to this, and are also preparing responses for an upcoming MHRA consultation on the topic. PSNC’s submission to the No-Deal Brexit Inquiry can be read in full here, but the main points raised included:

  • The potential impact a no-deal could have on the availability of medicines that are routinely used in patients’ care;
  • Ensuring additional costs to the community pharmacy sector are covered and reimbursement is quick and clear; and
  • Consideration of issues relating to FMD, including its implementation one month before Brexit.

The Forum encourages community pharmacy contractors to follow DHSC guidance, especially in relation to the letter sent by the DHSC to frontline healthcare professionals in August, where community pharmacies were told they ‘do not need to take any steps to stockpile additional medicines, beyond their business as usual stock levels’.

PSNC set up the Community Pharmacy Brexit Forum to provide a platform for stakeholders to share thoughts and compile advice for community pharmacy teams. The forum will continue to liaise with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) to ensure that the supply of medicines to community pharmacy patients is maintained.

Categories: National News

Flu vaccine orders for 2019/2020

PSNC News - 26 October 2018 - 8:18am

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), the body that advises UK health departments on immunisation, has reviewed the latest evidence on influenza vaccines and issued advice on the most effective vaccines for the 2019/2020 influenza season (see box below).

The JCVI advice is being considered by Public Health England (PHE) and NHS England and guidance for contractors on the appropriate vaccines to order for the 2019/20 season will be published in the annual flu letter. Until this letter is published, confirming the recommended vaccines for the 2019/2020 season, contractors are advised not to place any flu vaccine orders.

PSNC will advise contractors via our normal communication channels once the annual flu letter is published.

Adults aged 65 years and over

For vaccination of those aged 65 years and over JCVI advises the use of any one of the following vaccines:

  • Adjuvanted trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine (aTIV)
  • High-dose trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine (TIV-HD)
  • Quadrivalent influenza cell culture vaccine (QIVc)

At-risk adults (including pregnant women)

For vaccination of those aged less than 65 years of age JCVI advises the use of any one of the following vaccines:

  • Quadrivalent influenza cell culture vaccine (QIVc)
  • Quadrivalent egg based inactivated vaccine (QIVe)

Categories: National News

Less than four months until FMD implementation – will you be ready?

PSNC News - 25 October 2018 - 10:18am

There are now fewer than 16 weeks to go until the Falsified Medicines Directive (FMD) comes into force on 9th February 2019.

Today, PSNC has published a briefing which answers some common questions about the practicalities of complying with the FMD legislation. This is intended to provide community pharmacy contractors with a succinct resource they can use to help prepare the whole pharmacy team.

As well as explaining what pharmacy staff will be required to do when dispensing a medicine, the briefing outlines how the verification system will work and what to do in certain situations, such as when faced with a potential counterfeit product.

PSNC Briefing 058/18: Getting ready for FMD – a quick guide for the pharmacy team

FMD webinar

PSNC will be holding a webinar about FMD on Wednesday 7th November at 7.00pm. (Please note the date for this webinar has changed from that previously advertised.*)

On the night Alastair Buxton, PSNC’s Director of NHS Services, will explain how the introduction of FMD will affect the day-to-day working of community pharmacy teams and what they need to do to prepare.

This webinar will provide contractors and their teams with key actions for them to undertake as well as giving viewers the opportunity to ask questions.

Register for our FMD webinar here

*If you previously registered for the webinar you are still signed up but for the new time. If you cannot make the new date, you will be sent a link to watch the on-demand version following the live event.

Update to FMD error messages and alerts

The UK Community Pharmacy FMD Working Group has published an updated version of its FMD – error and alert messages (for pharmacy and wholesale) flowchart.

The chart looks specifically at handling of alert messages and is intended to inform wider discussions on implementing FMD, including amending Standard Operating Procedures. It will link with other industry guidance on the assessment of suspect packs once an alert has been raised and professional guidance on ethical decision making related to FMD.

Amendments have been made this month so that the chart represents current thinking at this point and the documentation has been added to a new section of the FMD Source website.

The updated chart and accompanying guidance notes are based on a workshop held at Walgreens Boots Alliance, Weybridge, on 5th September and subsequent discussions with relevant experts.

However, the chart is a working document and will be updated in light of feedback and experience. Comments and feedback are therefore encouraged and can be sent to jonathan.buisson@wba.com

Further information

fmdsource.co.uk – visit the UK FMD Working Group for Community Pharmacy’s website for guidance on what pharmacies need to do and links to system suppliers who are known to be offering an FMD solution.

FAQ. Will the costs incurred implementing FMD be covered in future funding for the sector?
PSNC is working to ensure that contractors’ FMD-related costs are recognised in future NHS funding settlements and this will be discussed with the Department of Health and Social Care in the forthcoming negotiations for 2019/20. Some of the costs involved include initial set-up, software and hardware, plus ongoing operational costs.

Categories: National News

Getting ready for FMD – a quick guide for the pharmacy team (October 2018)

PSNC News - 25 October 2018 - 10:07am

In this briefing we answer common questions about the practicalities of complying with the Falsified Medicines Directive (FMD) legislation.

PSNC Briefing 058/18: Getting ready for FMD – a quick guide for the pharmacy team

A one-page version of this briefing appeared in the October 2018 edition of CPN magazine.

If you have queries on this PSNC Briefing or you require more information, please contact Daniel Ah-Thion, Community Pharmacy IT Lead.

To browse other PSNC briefings on Contract and IT, click here.

View Article…

Categories: National News

October edition of CPN magazine now available

PSNC News - 25 October 2018 - 10:00am

The October 2018 edition of PSNC’s Community Pharmacy News (CPN) is now available. This month’s CPN features:

  • Community pharmacy funding settlement;
  • Quality Payments update;
  • Adrenaline auto-injectors supply; and
  • Getting ready for FMD.

View our CPN magazine online via the flipbook reader below or download the PDF copy. Please note, the colour PDF can be printed out in black-and-white and will still be clear to read.

Categories: National News
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