Out-of-pocket expense payment for unlicensed Cefuroxime 5% eye drops preservative free

From 1st March 2024, an additional fixed out-of-pocket expense payment of £50 will be automatically applied to NHS prescriptions for Cefuroxime 5% eye drops preservative free (a non-Drug Tariff special).

Due to the unique temperature-controlled transport and storage requirements of Cefuroxime 5% eye drops preservative free, significant delivery and handling charges are generally incurred by pharmacies when ordering these drops for dispensing against NHS prescriptions. The delivery and handling charges cannot be re-claimed by community pharmacy owners because out-of-pocket expense claims are not permitted for any Drug Tariff or non-Tariff specials. Therefore, Community Pharmacy England, on behalf of community pharmacy owners, made representations to the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) to consider allowing these costs to be claimed.

No additional endorsements are required to claim this fixed £50 out-of-pocket expense payment i.e. the ‘XP’ or ‘OOP’ endorsement is not required. This additional £50 payment will only apply to NHS prescriptions for Cefuroxime 5% eye drops preservative free. Other applicable fees such as the £20 fixed fee specials handling fee (claimed by endorsing ‘SP’) will continue to be paid in addition to the reimbursement based on the invoice price endorsement. The image below shows how a prescription should be endorsed and in this example the £20 SP fee and the additional £50 OOP fixed fee would be paid.

The £50 out-of-pocket expense payment will also be backdated to cover prescriptions submitted as dispensed between April 2023 and February 2024. NHSBSA expect to make this adjustment in May 2024 which will be displayed under the fees and drugs section of the Schedule of Payments. Pharmacy owners who qualify for this additional payment will also be sent an accompanying letter detailing what this adjustment is in relation to. Please note: Cefuroxime 5% eye drops preservative free is not frequently dispensed by community pharmacies.

Details of this change can be found in Part II Clause 12 of the Drug Tariff

Further information on out-of-pocket expenses can be found here.

Click here for information on dispensing unlicensed specials.


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