Information & Disclosure Regulations

Published on: 8th August 2018 | Updated on: 16th May 2024

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has greater powers to request information about the prices and costs associated with products purchased for the NHS.

The Health Service Products (Provision and Disclosure of Information) Regulations 2018 (the Regulations) came into effect on 1st July 2018 and were introduced largely to help DHSC control the price of medicines. Its primary focus is to require manufacturers and wholesalers to provide information on costs. Any failure to provide the information requested could lead to a financial penalty.

It is expected that the Regulations will help improve the information available to DHSC when reviewing shortages and setting price concessions.

The Regulations will also apply to community pharmacy contractors, which will be affected in two main ways:

  1. Keep, record and provide information on price and volume

This requires contractors to record and keep relevant information on the price and volume of medicines, appliances and borderline substances dispensed for the NHS and provide this to the DHSC in response to a written request.

Contractors will be used to keeping records for products they dispense, and many will have previously submitted this type of information as part of the Margin Survey. The DHSC has indicated that its intention is to continue with the current Margin Survey.

Smaller contractors will only be required to provide invoices and existing documents.

  1. Provide information on costs

This requires contractors to provide any relevant information on the costs of distributing or supplying a medicine or appliance associated with NHS dispensing, in response to an information notice from the DHSC.

Community Pharmacy England has published Community Pharmacy England Briefing 034/18: Information and disclosure regulations which explains these requirements, provides clarification on the information that may be requested, and outlines the responsibilities of different types of contractor.

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