Summary of Drug Tariff changes for September 2021

There have been a number of changes to the Drug Tariff from 1 September 2021. It is important that pharmacy contractors and their teams familiarise themselves with the information below so that changes to any existing pharmacy processes can be implemented, where required.

Earlier advance payments for all contractors

From November 2021, all community pharmacy contractors will have the chance to receive earlier advance payments, following agreement between PSNC and the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC).  Advance payments will be made approximately 20 days earlier than the current payment timetable for contractor who make their monthly FP34C submissions through the Manage Your Service (MYS) portal by the 5th of the month.

The paper FP34C submission document will only be available until March 2022 (i.e. for prescriptions dispensed in February 2022). From April 2022 (i.e. for prescriptions dispensed in March 2022), MYS will be the only route for all monthly FP34C submissions. Contractors who choose to continue using the paper FP34C submission document (from November 2021 to March 2022) will NOT receive any earlier advance payments but instead will receive advance payments in accordance with the current payment timetable i.e on or around the 1st of the month following submission. Therefore, contractors who use paper FP34Cs for their monthly submissions are strongly encouraged to start using the MYS portal to make their declarations.

The final reconciliation payment date remains unchanged i.e. this will continue to be paid on the 1st working day of the month approximately two months after contractors have submitted the FP34C form and prescriptions for pricing.

Further details for contractors on the changes to the monthly advance payment timetable are outlined in this PSNC briefing.

End to the Pharmacy Earlier Payment Scheme (PEPS)

The contract between Taulia Inc. and NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) for the PEPS ended on 30 June 2021. Without an alternative finance provider in place, the DHSC decided to bring the scheme to an end. Approximately, 2,000 pharmacies affected by this change will receive their final PEPS payment on 1 October 2021.

From 1 November 2021, a 12-month transition period has been agreed for existing PEPS pharmacy contractors to transfer over to the new earlier advance payment timetable available to ALL contractors from November 2021.

Further details for contractors on the end of the PEPS and the transition arrangements are outlined in this PSNC briefing.

End to temporary suspension of signatures on prescription forms and token submission requirements

On 31 August 2021, the temporary suspension of the need for signatures on prescription forms and/or EPS tokens comes to an end, ten months after it was first introduced. This will also mean an end to the temporary suspension of the requirement to submit certain EPS tokens to the NHSBSA. As Ministers remain keen for public policy priorities to return to normal, the easing of wider COVID-19 restrictions coupled with the slowing in the number of infections did not support a case for any further extensions to this suspension period.

Patients (or their representatives) will be required to sign the reverse of NHS prescription forms or tokens for all prescriptions presented at the pharmacy on or after 1 September 2021. Contractors are advised to ensure processes are in place to capture patient signatures on NHS prescription forms and to review their end of month submission processes to include relevant tokens with monthly bundles from September.

Contractors should check their current stock levels of tokens and only order additional tokens if required. Tokens can be ordered from Primary Care Support England (PCSE) by following the token ordering process outlined here.

For more information on the return to capturing patient signatures on prescription forms and token submission requirements, see our full story here.

NHSBSA have produced a patient exemption checking guide to help pharmacy teams understand the legislative requirements and correct procedures to follow when checking a patient’s exemption status. NHSBSA have also produced printable posters, leaflets and digital resources which can be found here.

Inclisiran (Leqvio®) added to a new section of the Drug Tariff (Part VIIIC)

From September 2021, the Drug Tariff includes a new section, Part VIIIC, which sets out arrangements of payment for products with a nominal price (i.e where the purchase price of the product is significantly lower than its NHS list price).

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). Part VIIIC outlines the reimbursement price of one product, Inclisiran, under such a commercial arrangement.

For more information on Part VIIIC and Inclisiran see our full story here.

Other changes to the September 2021 Drug Tariff

In addition to the notice of the end of PEPS, the changes to the advance payment timetable and submission requirements, the published Drug Tariff determination for September 2021 also outlines: 

  • different payment arrangements for late submissions which will also incur administrative charges; 
  • an extension to the deadlines for submission of FP34C and dispatch of prescription bundle in months where a bank holiday occurs during the first five days of the month;
  • contingency arrangements for contractors who are unable to submit FP34C through MYS; and
  • requirements for prescriptions issued via Electronic Prescription Service (EPS) and token submission

Further details on these changes are outlined in this PSNC briefing.

Drug Tariff Watch – September 2021

The Drug Tariff Preface published monthly lists additions, deletions and other changes to products listed in the Drug Tariff.  Click here for a quick summary of the changes coming into effect from 1 September 2021.

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