HDA Media And Political Bulletin – 21 April 2016

Cameron on pharmacy cuts: We must get ‘value for money’

20 April 2016, Chemist + Druggist, Annabelle Collins & Ray Scullard

 

Prime Minister David Cameron has responded to a question on the planned pharmacy finding cuts by stating that the government wants “value for money”. He further highlighted the “massive increase in pharmacy spending” over the last five years and stated that they must ensure that as “much NHS resources go to the front line – the doctors and the nurses and the operations and A&E”.

 

This is also reported in Pharmacy Biz and PSNC.

 

Parliamentary Coverage

House of Commons, Written Answers, Pharmacy: Finance, 20 April 2016

 

Asked by Jim Cunningham (MP): How much has been allocated to the community pharmacy contractual framework in each of the next five years; and if he will make a statement

 

Department of Health

 

Answered by Alistair Burt (MP): Since the community pharmacy contractual framework was introduced in 2005, the usual practice has been to set one year funding settlements for community pharmacy. As previously announced, the funding for community pharmacy for 2016/17 is £2.63 billion. Discussions are being held with the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee, which represents pharmacy owners.

We cannot comment further on future funding at this timeThe attached tables contain the information for each of the last 25 years on medicines reclassified from prescription only medicine (POM) to Pharmacy (P) medicine and P medicine to general sales list (GSL) medicine. There are no examples of medicines which have been reclassified from POM to GSL. Where relevant, brand names have been included in brackets.

The lists represent the first reclassification either from POM to P or P to GSL of the product and further extensions such as wider indications, additional pack sizes or higher strengths have not been included. Not all products listed are currently available, for various reasons, including both commercial and regulatory.

 

Full Coverage

PSNC urges Prime Minister to consider alternative pharmacy proposals

20 April 2016, PSNC

 

PSNC has urged David Cameron to reconsider his plans for community pharmacy after the Prime Minister told MPs that he wanted to see value for money from the sector following massive increases in spending.

The Prime Minister’s comments followed a question from Sue Hayman, Labour MP for Workington, who asked whether the Government would support independent pharmacies which she said were a vital lifeline for rural communities and helped keep high streets alive.

Ms Hayman mentioned Allisons’ Chemists in Cockermouth, which she said had collected more than 2,000 signatures for the petition against the Government’s planned funding cuts.

Mr Cameron said the Government would support rural pharmacies but he added that there had been ‘a massive increase in pharmacy spending’ over the past five years. He said: “As we make sure that as much of the NHS’s resources go to the front line – the doctors and the nurses and the operations and the A&E that we want to see carried out – we’ve got to see value for money in pharmacy while at the same time protecting the rural pharmacies.”

Responding to the comments PSNC Chief Executive Sue Sharpe said:

“The Prime Minister could have taken the opportunity to recognise the excellent, front-line work carried out every day in community pharmacies all over the country and to welcome PSNC’s recent counter-proposals for the pharmacy contract. It seems, however, that Mr Cameron was poorly briefed by his officials. Community pharmacies are at the front-line of healthcare. Community pharmacies are the front line that keep people out of A&E and GP surgeries.

It is not accurate to say that there has been a massive increase in pharmacy spending over the past five years. The global sum distributed to community pharmacies has grown significantly slower than inflation and rising volumes of prescriptions. It has also grown slower than overall funding for the NHS. Community pharmacies provide excellent value for money to the NHS.

PSNC continues to discuss its counter-proposals with the Department of Health and NHS England.”

 

Cameron: There’s been a massive increase in phamracy spending in the last five years

20 April 2016, Pharmacy Biz, Neil Trainis

 

David Cameron has given the clearest hint yet that the government’s decision to cut pharmacy funding will not be reversed and risked rubbing salt into pharmacists’ wounds by insisting “if we look at the last five years there was a massive increase in pharmacy spending.”

 

Responding to a parlimentary question from Labour MP Sue Hayman, who challenged ministers to throw their support behind independent pharmacies following allegations of abuse of MURs at Boots, the Prime Minister said: “We are supporting rural pharmacies, there’s a specific scheme to help there, but if we look at the last five years there was a massive increase in pharmacy spending.

 

“And as we make sure that as much of the NHS resources go to the front line, the doctors and the nurses and the operations and the A&E that we want to see carried out, then we have got to make sure we are getting value for money in pharmacy, while at the same time protecting the rural pharmacies that she speaks about.”

 

Community pharmacy will also be concerned, if a little unsurprised, that Cameron appeared to suggest pharmacy was outside of what he described as “the front line” of health. He named doctors, nurses, operations and A&E as operating on the front-line.

 

Hayman had revealed that a petition started by Alisons Chemist in Cockermouth, Cumbria, urging the government not to cut pharmacy funding has gained over 2,000 signatures.

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