Rollout of HRT PPC begins from April

The Government’s new Prescription Prepayment Certificate (PPC) for hormone replacement therapy (HRT) products comes into effect from tomorrow (1 April 2023).

PSNC has been in discussion with the British Medical Association (BMA) about the impact of the new HRT PPC on working practices. Both we and the BMA are agreed on the importance of collaborative working to maintain patient care. The BMA’s General Practitioners’ Committee is therefore recommending that GP practices and Local Medical Committees (LMCs) discuss local approaches to DHSC’s HRT PPC guidance with their local pharmacies and LPCs.

Ultimately, GP practice staff and community pharmacy teams should work together to support those patients taking HRT products.

Ahead of the launch of the HRT PPC, PSNC Chief Executive Janet Morrison said:

“The HRT PPC being introduced by Government next month is a positive development for patients – indeed, we argued that these medicines should have been made available for free – but NHS systems have not kept pace with policy, meaning the certificate is launching without the IT in place to support it. This is totally unacceptable: community pharmacies cannot on the one hand be subjected to funding cuts, but on the other hand be expected to keep picking up the pieces when DHSC and the NHS launch policies without having the infrastructure in place to effectively implement them.

“We have warned Ministers directly – both by writing to them and in meetings – that rolling out the HRT PPC at this point risks causing confusion for some patients and that it will add to the burden on pharmacies, but to no avail. Government recognises the challenges but is determined to move forwards with the policy.

“DHSC has recognised the impact this will have on pharmacies we are pressing for appropriate financial compensation for pharmacy owners.”

Guidance and public messages

From 1 April the HRT PPC can be used against any DHSC listed HRT medicine licensed for the treatment of menopause. The HRT PPC will be available to purchase through the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) website or from selected pharmacies (i.e. just those pharmacies who choose to provide them).

The following resources are available to support pharmacy teams with the rollout of the HRT PPC.

DHSC’s HRT PPC guidance for GPs, prescribers, pharmacists and pharmacy staff
This guidance from DHSC outlines the changes taking place and how this will impact on the issuing and dispensing of prescriptions for HRT products.

PSNC Briefing 008/23: FAQs to support DHSC guidance on the new HRT PPC (updated 5 April 2023)
This briefing from PSNC contains supplementary information and a comprehensive set of FAQs based on our understanding of this policy from discussions with DHSC. It also contains a number of illustrative diagrams and flowcharts to help clarify the procedures.

HRT Medicines list
The list of medicines covered by the HRT PPC. Note, only the medicines listed here are covered.

HRT PPC communications toolkit
This toolkit from the NHSBSA includes messaging for both primary care providers and people who may save money buying an HRT PPC.

PPC Poster 2023/24 (colour) or PPC Poster (black and white)
Along with PSNC’s usual Prescription Charge Card, we have designed a poster about PPCs that can be displayed in community pharmacies. This provides information on PPCs, including the new HRT PPC, and contains a QR code that can be scanned to access further information.

HRT PPC guidance for the public
Guidance on obtaining and using a HRT PPC aimed at patients and the general public.

Social Media Posts
DHSC has developed some social media posts to help explain the new HRT PPC to patients. Pharmacies are encouraged to share these from your own social media accounts to help spread the message:

 

Support the call for more funding by recording information about the informal advice you provide to patients over just one day.

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