Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework: Negotiations for 2024/25

The start of April 2024 marks the end of the five-year Contractual Framework arrangement which was agreed in the summer of 2019.

Negotiations on the arrangements for the coming financial year – 2024/25 – are still in progress between Community Pharmacy England, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and NHS England.

Until these negotiations have concluded, fee levels will remain the same and existing service arrangements will continue as previously announced.

Community Pharmacy England had also been arguing for a freeze on margin adjustments within the Drug Tariff, but some changes have recently been imposed by DHSC.

Any adjustments to fees or margin needed to deliver the total funding sum for 2024/25 will made later in the year once these critical negotiations have concluded.

Community Pharmacy England’s Negotiating Team (NT), which includes independent pharmacy owners and representatives of CCA and non-CCA multiples, is leading these negotiations. The NT is reporting back to the full Committee and progress will be the primary focus of the upcoming full Committee Meeting in a few weeks’ time.

The Committee, as pharmacy owners themselves, are fully focused on the very desperate state that community pharmacy businesses now find themselves in and the need to assure the sustainability of the sector for this year and beyond. It is not yet clear when the negotiations will conclude.

Community Pharmacy England Chief Executive Janet Morrison said:

“Community pharmacy businesses are in deep distress. They are working in crisis mode, and as public accounts keep showing – the current pharmacy funding levels are quite simply driving them out of business. We have been warning Government and NHS England both privately and publicly of the very dire consequences – to both pharmacies and their patients – should they continue along this path of attrition.

Our Negotiating Team is very cognisant of the urgent need for pharmacy businesses to have clarity about the future, but at the same time focused on getting the best deal for pharmacy owners on the table as soon as we possibly can.”

Read more in the April Chief Executive’s Blog

Supporting the case for community pharmacies

Alongside the negotiations, Community Pharmacy England is continuing work to monitor funding and margin delivery as well as Pharmacy First implementation, to argue for improvements to funding and the medicines supply chain, and to leverage the wide stakeholder support that community pharmacy now has.

Pharmacy owners are encouraged to write to their MPs about the current ongoing pressures using our guidance for writing to your MP and our latest briefings for politicians, and sharing any financial details that you can.

If you have not already done so, please also take part in the 2024 Pressures Survey. Note, the survey has been extended and will now close at 12 noon on Monday 8th April.

Discover how we are working to improve the outlook for community pharmacy at an event near you.

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