Negotiations on 2024/25 Contractual Framework Commence

Formal tripartite negotiations on the arrangements for the Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework (CPCF) in 2024/25 – the first year following the five-year CPCF deal – have now begun.

The negotiations are taking place between Community Pharmacy England and the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), supported by NHS England (NHSE).

They are beginning ahead of the start of the financial year, in line with the ambitions of all three negotiating partners, but later than planned due to the volume of recent urgent work ahead of the launch of the Pharmacy First service.

The discussions will cover funding and other arrangements for pharmacies in 2024/25.

All negotiating partners recognise the amazing contribution that community pharmacy has made to healthcare throughout the five-year CPCF deal, including throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and most recently to launch the Pharmacy First service.

Negotiations will remain confidential as usual, but we will update pharmacy owners on the outcomes of these negotiations as soon as we can.

Janet Morrison, Community Pharmacy England CEO, said:

“Community Pharmacy England, along with everyone in the community pharmacy sector, has been warning about the perilous financial situation that pharmacy businesses now find themselves in, as well as the lack of capacity available within community pharmacy, on an ongoing basis both in private and public. We will continue to underline that, as well as the significant risks posed to medicines supply and to patient care, throughout this negotiation.

As we have stated before, we believe that we, the NHS and DHSC all share a goal to make Pharmacy First a success, but given the progress of other primary care negotiations, we expect to begin a long way apart from them on core funding. We’ll be using the huge volume of evidence and analysis that we have to argue what we know to be true: that whatever the Government and NHS’ affordability challenges may be, they cannot afford to stand by and let community pharmacies fail. And we’ll be looking to the longer term, trying to work with them to ensure the coming year lays the foundations for the future contractual framework, and developing a sustainable shared plan for the future which builds on the service developments and pharmacy’s phenomenal achievements over the past five years.”

Jas Heer, Community Pharmacy England Regional Representative for the West Midlands and a Negotiating Team Member, said:

“For community pharmacies, getting through each month is now a battle for survival: the pressure on pharmacy teams is extreme, and the toll of relentless and uncontainable cost rises on our finances is intolerable. Our economic survival is at stake, and all members of the Negotiating Team are fully focused on that going into these negotiations. We know that Government and the NHS recognise our value and we share their objective to make Pharmacy First work for the benefit of patients: but we can only do this if pharmacies can keep the lights on.”