Virtual Drug Tariff
Published on: 10th July 2013 | Updated on: 15th March 2022
The Drug Tariff is produced monthly by the Pharmaceutical Directorate of the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) for the Secretary of State. The Drug Tariff provides information on what will be paid to contractors for NHS Services including both reimbursement (eg. the cost of drugs and appliances supplied against an NHS Prescription form) and remuneration (e.g. professional fees/allowances which are paid as part of the NHS pharmacy contract).
NHS England ceased distribution of the monthly printed Drug Tariff to community pharmacies in February 2019. Community pharmacy teams are now encouraged to make use of the electronic or online versions of the Drug Tariff see: cpe.org.uk/dt
Take a look at our Dispensing Factsheets: Using the Drug Tariff and The Drug Tariff Preface for information on what is contained within each section of the Drug Tariff, useful links to relevant pages on our website and you guide to the Drug Tariff Preface. The Drug Tariff Preface publishes monthly lists; additions, deletions and other changes to products listed in the Drug Tariff. Each month the Community Pharmacy England compiles a summary of the changes coming into effect (the Drug Tariff Watch), to view the Drug Tariff Watch visit our page here.
The Drug Tariff is also available online on the NHSBSA Website.
A Guided Tour of the Drug Tariff
Using the Drug Tariff may seem daunting at first but it is not difficult if you know where to look for information. This page will guide you through each ‘Part’ of the Tariff.
Click on a heading below to reveal more information.
Take a look at this section each month as it contains valuable information relevant for that edition and the next. It contains additions, deletions and any other alterations to the Drug Tariff. Take careful note of deletions to Parts IXA, IXB, IXC and IXR for if you dispense a deleted product your prescriptions will be returned disallowed.
The Drug Tariff Preface publishes monthly lists; additions, deletions and other changes to products listed in the Drug Tariff. Each month the Community Pharmacy England compiles a summary of the changes coming into effect (the Drug Tariff Watch), to view the Drug Tariff Watch visit our page here.
This section states that drugs must be of a suitable standard, appliances must be those listed in Parts IX and X, chemical reagents should be those contained in Part IXR only and refers to Part X for the Oxygen Therapy Service. Clause 5 deals with claims for payment.
This section states how the payments made to a pharmacy contractor are calculated. It includes guidance on the endorsement requirements, quantity to be supplied, Special Container rules, Broken Bulk arrangements, Out of Pocket Expenses, and the List of Drugs for Which Discount is not Deducted.
Part IIIA sets out the arrangements for the dispensing fee and additional fees that contractors can claim.
These are the current fees for Appliance Contractors. Appliance contractors are different from pharmacy contractors. They specialise in the supply on prescription of appliances, in particular, stoma and incontinence appliances. This section is not applicable to pharmacy contractors.
Pharmacy contractors must supply medicines in suitable containers where appropriate and are required to provide consumables when dispensing certain products. A payment for containers is made for every prescription (except special containers) supplied where the quantity ordered is outside of the pack size (or a multiple of the pack size).
This is the deduction (discount) scale. A percentage is deducted from pharmacy contractors monthly payments according to the value of prescriptions dispensed.
This section of the Tariff provides information on the payments for Essential Services. This includes information on the Establishment Payments, Practice Payments, Repeat dispensing Payment and the Transitional Payment. This section also includes information on the ETP /IT Allowances.
This section provides information on the payments for Essential Services that Appliance Contractors receive. This section is not applicable to pharmacy contractors.
This reproduces the Secretary of State Directions (separate directions for England and Wales) for the Advanced Services for pharmacy contractors.
This states that local NHS England teams in England and LHBs in Wales will be the determining authorities for commissioning and setting fees and allowances for Enhanced Services performed by pharmacy contractors.
This details the arrangements for providing and determining remuneration for enhanced services.
Rescinded following the introduction of a payment system to reflect split pack dispensing.
These are the basic prices for generic drugs. This Part is further divided into categories:
Category A includes popular generics, which are widely available. The price is based on a weighted average of the List Prices from 2 wholesalers and 2 generic manufacturers.
Category C items are based on a particular brand or manufacturer.
Category M includes drugs that are readily available, where the Department of Health and Social Care calculates the reimbursement price based on information submitted by manufacturers.
Broken Bulk may be claimed on Category C products or Category A or M products if the smallest listed pack size is equal to or greater than £50 as long as they are not special containers.
Out of Pocket expenses may be claimed on Category C products only.
These are the basic prices for some unlicensed medicines. The pack size listed against a product will be used as the minimum amount for reimbursement. A prescription ordering any more will be paid on the listed pack size plus the 1ml or 1g list price for every additional 1ml or 1g prescribed. For example, a prescription for 200ml of an unlicensed medicine with a Part VIIIB listed pack of 100ml, the price will be calculated as 1x 100ml + 100 x 1ml.
Broken Bulk can only be claimed on Part VIIIB products if they have been extemporaneously dispensed by the pharmacy contractor.
There is a fixed fee (currently set at £20) for dispensing any unlicensed special or import that is manufactured or supplied by a company operating under an MHRA specials license or importer’s license. This fee is to cover all costs incurred when sourcing the product. ‘SP’ must be endorsed on the prescription to claim this payment. If a product is extemporaneously dispensed by the contractor or by a 3rd party, costs incurred are covered by another fixed fee (also currently set at £20). ‘ED’ must be endorsed on the prescription to claim this payment. Pharmacy contractors must not include these expenses in the total they put on their monthly FP34c submission document.
Products listed in Part VIIIC are available at nominal prices because of commercial deals in place between the manufacturer or supplier and the NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I) which allows manufacturers to supply a drug to the NHS at a reduced cost compared to its published NHS list prices as authored in the NHS Dictionary of Medicines and Devices (dm+d).
At present the only product listed in Part VIIIC is:
- Inclisiran (Leqvio®) 284mg/1.5ml solution for injection pre-filled syringes (Novartis Pharmaceuticals UK Ltd)
For more information see here.
Part VIIID, sets out payment arrangements for specials and imported unlicensed medicines (specials) (mainly unlicensed tablets and capsules), with reimbursement prices calculated relative to commonly identified pack sizes. The pack size listings are to support Broken Bulk claims which will be permitted for specials (except those classed as special containers) listed in Part VIIID
Please note: Broken Bulk CANNOT be claimed for any specials listed in Part VIIIB of the Tariff or for any non-Tariff special.
There is a fixed fee (currently set at £20) for dispensing any unlicensed special or import for preparations manufactured under a Manufacturer ‘Specials’ Licence or sourced under a Wholesale Dealer Licence issued by the MHRA. This fixed fee is to cover all costs incurred when sourcing the product.
Note: Alternatively to the ‘SP’ endorsement, the ‘ED’ endorsement can be used to claim the £20 fixed fee for specials extemporaneously prepared by the contractor or a third party under the Section 10 exemption from the Medicines Act. However, it is unlikely that the ‘ED’ endorsement will apply to any specials listed in Part VIIID.
These are permitted appliances and dressings. This chapter starts by listing the Technical Specifications for each section of dressings or appliances. The section is set out in alphabetical order of category. Only those items listed in this section will be allowed on NHS prescription.
Out of Pocket expenses cannot be claimed on items in this section.
More information is available by clicking on the links below:
This is the Incontinence Appliance section. It is divided into sections covering different components, e.g. belts, sheaths, tubes, etc. When looking for an item first decide which section it may come under, e.g. Incontinence Belts. The sub-section is then divided into alphabetical manufacturers listing their products, codes, pack sizes and prices. At the end of Part IXB is a list of manufacturers together with their addresses and telephone numbers.
Out of Pocket expenses may be claimed on items in this section.
This is the Stoma Appliance section and is similar in layout to the Incontinence section. Again a list of manufacturers and their contact details is included at the end of the section.
Out of Pocket expenses may be claimed on items in this section.
These are the only chemical reagents allowed on a NHS prescription. Only those pack sizes stated will be allowed.
Out of Pocket expenses cannot be claimed on items in this section.
This chapter deals with the Home Oxygen Therapy Service. The Department of Health and Social Care have indicated that following the changes to the Home Oxygen Service, this section of the Drug Tariff will be removed in the near future.
This provides information on the Essential Small Pharmacies Scheme. Although the scheme continues in Wales the scheme in England ceased on 31st March 2006 and was replaced by a standard LPS Contract.
This section deals with the grant payable to contractors who provide pre-registration training to pharmacy graduates.
This details the reward payments to be made where a contractor correctly identifies a fraudulent prescription and thereby prevents fraud.
This details how pharmacy contractors can request a pricing recheck.
This provides information on the involvement of the global sum and the temporary safeguarding of payments.
This section previously gave details of the transitional arrangements agreed for the new oral liquid methadone payment structure which came into effect on 1st July 2012. It has now been rescinded.
In certain conditions, some foods and toiletry preparations have the characteristics of drugs. A board known as the Advisory Committee on Borderline Substances (ACBS) advises on the circumstances in which these products may be regarded as drugs. Part XV of the Tariff sets out the approved Borderline Substances. List A is an alphabetical index of the products and List B is an alphabetical index of conditions and those products suitable for the conditions.
This section covers prescription charges, exemptions and examples of the application of charges. It also includes instructions on the Prescription Charge Refund Procedure.
This is the Dental Prescribing Formulary. This list is definitive and only those substances stated will be permitted on Form FP10D. Only items listed in the Dental Prescribing Formulary (Part XVIIA of the Drug Tariff) can be prescribed on Form FP10D. Although the Dental Formulary displays products by their generic titles and dentists are strongly encouraged to prescribe generically, a product may be ordered on Form FP10D by its brand name providing that the brand is not listed in Part XVIIIA of the Drug Tariff (drugs, medicines and other substances that may not be ordered under the NHS).
This is the Nurse Prescribers’ Formulary for Community Practitioners. Community Practitioner Nurse Prescribers are only entitled to prescribe medicines from this list or appliances from Part IX of the Drug Tariff.
Nurse independent prescribers are able to prescribe any licensed medicine including Prescription Only Medicines for any medical condition within their level of experience and competence with some exceptions. They are also able to prescribe any Schedule 2, 3, 4 or 5 Controlled Drug (except diamorphine, dipipanone or cocaine for the treatment of addiction).
The National Out-Of-Hours Formulary.
Drugs, medicines and other substances listed in this section is not permitted on an NHS prescription.
This is the Selected List Scheme which lists items that may be prescribed under certain conditions. Prescriptions must be marked ‘SLS’ by the prescriber. Please note that there are separate lists for English and Welsh prescribers to follow.
This small section outlines the criteria that was originally used in selecting products for inclusion in Part XVIIIA/ Selected List.
This section previously reproduced the Primary Medical Services (Electronic Prescription Service Authorisation) Directions 2008. It has now been rescinded.
This chapter deals with payments to chemists suspended by direction of the NHS Tribunal.