National News

England – changes to MUR target groups from 1 October 2019 – are you aware?

NPA News - 13 September 2019 - 5:29pm
The target patient groups for Medicines Use Reviews (MURs) are changing effective from 1 October 2019. 70% of all MURs carried out from 1 October 2019 to 31 March 2020 must be within two target groups: Patients taking at least one high risk medicine Patients who have been discharged from hospital who had changes made to their medicines whilst they were in hospital From 1 October 2019, the following are no longer target groups for MURs: Patients with respiratory disease Patients at risk of/diagnosed with cardiovascular disease who are regularly being prescribed at least four medicines MUR target groups until 30 September 2019 MUR target groups from 1 October 2019 to 31 March 2020 1.       Patients taking at least one high risk medicine as listed in the BNF sections: ·         Diuretics ·         Anticoagulants (including low molecular weight heparin) ·         Antiplatelets ·         Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs   1.       Patients taking at least one high risk medicine as listed in the following BNF sections: ·         Diuretics ·         Anticoagulants (including low molecular weight heparin) ·         Antiplatelets ·         Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs 2.       Patients who have been discharged from hospital within the last eight weeks and who have had changes made to their medicines whilst they were in hospital 2)      Patients who have been discharged from hospital within the last eight weeks and who have had changes made to their medicines whilst they were in hospital 3.      …
Categories: National News

England: Pharmacy Quality Scheme (PQS) action plan and checklist published – are you preparing for the PQS?

NPA News - 13 September 2019 - 4:06pm
The new five-year contractual agreement for community pharmacy in England was announced in July 2019 detailing substantial changes to the national funding distribution that will be delivered as part of the Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework (CPCF). The NPA has produced an action plan and checklist to support members to achieve the requirements of the Pharmacy Quality Scheme (PQS). We will continue to update and/or add to our resources as more information becomes available from the PSNC and NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I).  Pharmacy quality scheme (PQS) action plan and checklist NHS England has not yet issued its guidance on the PQS. This document, produced by the NPA, uses the information available so far to provide an ongoing task list of actions that pharmacy contractors may be able to complete.   The document is set out into two sections as follows: Key dates and deadlines table – this shows the deadlines as set out by NHS England that pharmacy contractors must adhere to in order to claim payments on PQS Task list table – this indicates key actions for pharmacists and their teams to complete over the next weeks in order to better prepare them to be in a position to claim PQS payments when further information is released by NHS England – the task list is intended as a guide only and is not an indication of deadlines set out by NHS England.…
Categories: National News

New MUR target requirements from 1st October

PSNC News - 13 September 2019 - 3:13pm

New targeting requirements apply to Medicines Use Review (MURs) conducted from 1st October 2019, so community pharmacy contractors will need to update their standard operating procedure for the service to reflect these changes. These changes were agreed as part of the five-year Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework agreement.

Seventy percent of MURs conducted from 1st October 2019 to 31st March 2020 must be within the following two target groups:

  • patients taking high-risk medicines; or
  • patients recently discharged from hospital who had changes made to their medicines while they were in hospital.

From 1st October 2019, patients with respiratory disease and patients at risk of or diagnosed with cardiovascular disease and regularly being prescribed at least four medicines are no longer target groups for MURs.

Between 1st April 2019 and 31st March 2020, contractors can undertake up to 250 MURs per pharmacy, but no more than 200 may be undertaken between 1st April 2019 and 30th September 2019.

Categories: National News

Brexit: Government publishes worst case scenarios

PSNC News - 12 September 2019 - 5:06pm

The Government has released details of its planning for a no-deal Brexit (known as ‘Operation Yellowhammer’) following a Parliamentary motion requesting the documentation be made public.

The Worse Case Planning Assumptions document considers the various scenarios that could happen if the UK leaves the EU without a deal in order to mitigate these issues.

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has been working closely with representatives from across the medicines supply chain, including PSNC, for over a year to put robust plans in place to ensure the continuity of supply. Contingency arrangements include:

  • Improving the readiness of manufacturers and importers for new border arrangements;
  • Securing additional roll-on, roll-off freight capacity away from Dover and Folkestone (seen as key pressure points) for medicines to continue to come into the UK from 31st October;
  • Building up buffer stocks of prescription-only and pharmacy medicines (by DHSC and industry) in the UK before 31st October;
  • Buying extra warehouse space to hold additional stock;
  • Booking space on aeroplanes for products that require an immediate shipment due to short shelf-life or specific storage conditions;
  • Making changes to regulatory requirements so companies can continue to sell their products in the UK even if we have no deal; and
  • Strengthening the processes and resources used to deal with shortages in the event that they do occur despite everyone’s efforts.

Further information is available in a letter to suppliers from DHSC’s Chief Commercial Officer, Steve Oldfield, which was sent on 26th June 2019.

In response to the release of the Yellowhammer Planning Assumptions, DHSC has said:

“We want to reassure the public that we are working closely with partners across the health and care system and industry to take all appropriate steps to prepare for Brexit on 31 October, whatever the circumstances. Our robust plans should help ensure the supply of medicines and medical products remains uninterrupted.”

PSNC Chief Executive Simon Dukes said:

“HM Government had what was in effect a robust dress rehearsal for a no-deal Brexit at the start of this year, and we are confident that they have learned lessons from that experience and are now even better prepared for a possible no-deal Brexit. While nobody can predict what may or may not happen in a no-deal Brexit scenario, we are clear that ensuring the supply of medicines to patients, via community pharmacies, must continue to be a focus and we will keep working with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) to ensure that it is.”

PSNC on BBC radio

Gordon Hockey, PSNC Director of Operations and Support, was interviewed for BBC Radio 5 Live’s Drive programme. He described DHSC’s multi-layered approach to ensure continuity of medicines supply, including alternative ferry routes and buffer stock being collected by manufacturers. Whilst Gordon said it was right to take this issue seriously, he explained that DHSC has been meeting regularly with representatives from across the supply chain (including national pharmacy organisations) to put together robust plans, and additional work has been possible using extra money made available by the Government.

Listen to Gordon’s interview (c. 2hr 8mins in)

Categories: National News

PSNC responds to consultation on community pharmacy drug reimbursement reform

PSNC News - 12 September 2019 - 4:47pm

PSNC has today published its response to the Department of Health and Social Care’s (DHSC’s) public consultation on community pharmacy drug reimbursement reforms.

Reminder: the public consultation deadline is 17th September 2019.

In line with the five-year deal on the Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework (CPCF), this consultation is the first step in improving reimbursement arrangements. PSNC’s intention is to work on changes that will deliver smoother cash flow and fairer distribution of margin for contractors.

PSNC has responded to the proposed reforms around:

  • Changes to the way Category A prices are set
  • Changes to how medicine margin is distributed in Category M drugs
  • Changes to how Category C prices are set for drugs with multiple suppliers
  • Inclusion of non-medicinal products in the Drug Tariff
  • Changes to the way prices of drugs in non-Part VIIIA are set
  • Changes to arrangements for reimbursement and procurement of ‘specials’
  • Changes to reimbursement of generically prescribed appliances dispensed as ‘specials’
  • Changes to reimbursement of generically prescribed drugs dispensed as ‘specials’
  • Changes to the deduction scale

View the consultation documents

Read PSNC’s response the consultation on community pharmacy reimbursement reforms

The proposals are far reaching, complex and interlinked. PSNC has been talking to the DHSC about many of these proposals for some time and the proposals also featured in the final package of Community pharmacy in 2016/17 and beyond document.  However, the proposals under consultation do not impact the agreed funding envelope and should help to smooth delivery of retained margin. They could, however, have an impact on individual pharmacies depending on their dispensing mix.

We hope that PSNC’s response will help inform any responses that contractors, LPCs or other pharmacy organisations may like to submit. PSNC looks forward to discussing the detail and mechanics of how DHSC and NHS England and Improvement (NHSE&I) intend to reimburse pharmacy contractors as part of the second stage of the consultation process.

Categories: National News

PSNC considers ongoing CPCF negotiations at September meeting

PSNC News - 12 September 2019 - 4:41pm

The PSNC Committee met early in September, with a significant portion of the meeting allocated to the ongoing negotiation of various elements of the Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework (CPCF).

The Committee had a detailed discussion about how to distribute the transition payments for 2019/20; was keen to conclude negotiations on the CPCF for 2020/21 as soon as possible to give contractors as much notice as possible; and agreed that work should continue to explain the CPCF changes to contractors and to help them to consider what it will mean for their businesses.

PSNC’s September meeting was held on the 4th and 5th of the month, and other key agenda items included:

  • Consideration of reimbursement reforms and future regulatory changes;
  • Updates on Brexit contingency planning and the Falsified Medicines Directive (FMD);
  • LPC support, including work to support LPCs wishing to form local Provider companies;
  • The Government’s Green Paper on prevention; and
  • Discussions about PSNC’s Parliamentary work.

Mark Lyonette, Chief Executive of the National Pharmacy Association (NPA), was invited to address the Committee. Mr Lyonette highlighted the very great challenges ahead for the independent community pharmacy sector and the need for the sector to focus its efforts on building advocates externally, stressing that the NPA would work collaboratively with PSNC to address these issues.

Further information is available in our Summary of the September PSNC meeting.

Categories: National News

Class 2 drug alert – Pharmacy level recall – Aripiprazole oral solution 1mg/ml

NPA News - 12 September 2019 - 11:56am
Class 2 medicines recall – Action within 48 hours – Aripiprazole oral solution 1mg/ml Ref: (EL (19)A/21) Date 12 September 2019 Aripiprazole oral solution 1mg/ml (Manufactured by Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories (UK) Ltd) PL 08553/0582 A Class 2 medicines recall has been issued by the Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) for certain batches of Aripiprazole oral solution 1mg/ml manufactured by Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories (UK) Ltd as stated below.   Batch Number Expiry Date Pack Size First Distributed 050618 05/2020 150ml 13/07/18   Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories (UK) Ltd has reported the possibility of the presence of small particles of Aripiprazole active material being present in the batch. This may affect the efficacy of the product.   Community pharmacists and their teams should stop supplying the above batch of this medicine; quarantine all remaining stock and return to the original supplier.   Further information can be found on the MHRA section on the GOV.UK website.  Produced by the NPA Pharmacy team September 2019.…
Categories: National News

Class 2 MHRA Medicines Recall – Aripiprazole 1mg/ml oral solution (Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories (UK) Ltd)

PSNC News - 12 September 2019 - 11:33am

Drug alert number: EL (19) A/21
Date issued: 12 September 2019 

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has issued a class 2 pharmacy level medicines recall, to be actioned within 48 hours, for certain batches of Aripiprazole 1mg/ml oral solution.

Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories (UK) Ltd is recalling the above batch due to the potential for small particles of Aripiprazole active material to be present which may affect the efficacy of the product. A product complaint has been received by the company from the UK market, relating to the formation of a precipitate in a bottle of product.

Aripiprazole 1mg/ml oral solution PL 08553/0582

Batch Number Expiry Date Pack Size First Distributed  050618 05/2020   150ml  13 July 2018

Community pharmacy teams should stop supplying the above products/batches immediately. Quarantine all remaining stock and return it to your supplier using your supplier’s approved process.

To view the alert please visit the GOV.UK website.

Company contacts for further information

For stock control enquiries please contact Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories (UK) Ltd Customer Services Team on +44 (0)1482 389858, email: customerserviceuk@drreddys.com (or main switchboard +44 (0)1482 860228).

For medical information enquiries please contact Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories (UK) Ltd Medical Information Department on +44 (0)1748 828873 and DrReddys@professionalinformation.co.uk.

Categories: National News

National Pharmacy Association position on Brexit

NPA News - 12 September 2019 - 11:00am
Categories: National News

New! NPA SOP for off-site NHS flu vaccinations now available (England)

NPA News - 11 September 2019 - 2:44pm
The NPA has launched a new template standard operating procedure (SOP), “National flu vaccination Advanced Service (England) 2019-20 SOP for delivering the service off-site” to support you in delivering the flu vaccination service under the NHS Patient Group Direction (PGD). The SOP contains a comprehensive guide to support NPA members to deliver the service off-site. In addition, a checklist is included that highlights key equipment/documents required to provide the service safely and effectively. Off-site administration of flu vaccinations under the NHS flu PGD can only be considered at either of the following two locations: Patient’s own home, as long as there is an existing clinical relationship with the patient (the patient has used pharmacy services in the past) Long-stay care home/residential facility for a patient/resident who resides there Professional indemnity insurance NPA professional indemnity insurance covers members to provide PGD services (private and/or NHS) which may include vaccination services, both from the registered pharmacy premises as well as from off-site locations – provided that all the PGD and service requirements are fulfilled correctly. It remains the personal and professional responsibility of the pharmacist, in all cases, to ensure that they are trained, confident and competent to offer the vaccination services (NHS and/or private) including management of anaphylaxis and resuscitation techniques.…
Categories: National News

Shortage Notice: Capsaicin cream (Zacin and Axsain)

PSNC News - 11 September 2019 - 2:20pm

Teva, the sole supplier of Zacin 0.025% cream and Axsain 0.075% cream have announced that they will be out of stock of both Capsaicin creams until November 2019 at the earliest.

For guidance on alternative agents and management options please see the shortage of supply memo here.

Pharmacy team are reminded that where a prescriber wishes you to dispense an import, prescriptions must be annotated ‘specials/unlicensed import’.

A prescription calling for the unlicensed product should be endorsed as follows:

  • Quantity dispensed
  • Pack size
  • Price per unit less any discount/rebate
  • Manufacturer/importer MHRA license number
  • Batch number
  • Specials procurement fee endorsement of ‘SP’

As a reminder, all prescriptions for unlicensed medicines should be placed in the red separators for the end of month submission.

See our factsheet for further guidance on endorsing unlicensed specials and imports.

Categories: National News

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) campaign and Stoptober campaign – mandatory requirement for CPCF

NPA News - 11 September 2019 - 11:53am
Pharmacy contractors are required to participate in the following campaigns as part of the Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework: AMR campaign from 1 September -30 September 2019 Stoptober campaign from 1 October- 31 October 2019 Each year, it is a requirement for pharmacy contractors to participate in up to six public health campaigns that have been determined by NHS England to help support public health priorities. These include winter pressures, smoking, obesity and alcohol intake. Campaigns can consist of, but are not limited to, the display of posters and distribution of leaflets. Resources for the campaigns Public Health England (PHE) resources should have arrived in pharmacies from 14 August 2019. Resources will include activation guides for both campaigns contained within the same envelope. Social media and digital resources are available to download from the PHE’s Campaign Resource Centre; community pharmacy teams can also order materials from this website free of charge. Pharmacy contractors that have not received their packs should email partnerships@phe.gov.uk stating the pharmacy name, address and name of the campaign(s) they have not received materials for. For further information on this or any other query, please contact the NPA Pharmacy Services team on 01727 891 800 or email pharmacyservices@npa.co.uk. Produced by the NPA Pharmacy Services team September 2019.…
Categories: National News

Flu vaccines – latest availability information from the NPA

NPA News - 11 September 2019 - 10:53am
The NPA Pharmacy Services team has published the “Availability of flu vaccines” resource (log in information required) which provides information on the current availability of all flu vaccines approved for the 2019/2020 influenza season. The resource will also provide the earliest order dates for pharmacy contractors to place new orders if they have not pre-ordered the vaccines. The resource will be updated on an ongoing basis. For further information on this or any other query, please contact the NPA Pharmacy Services team on 01727 891 800 or email pharmacyservices@npa.co.uk. Produced by the NPA Pharmacy Services team September 2019.…
Categories: National News

NHS dental prescriptions – reimbursement for different stamped and prescribed quantities

NPA News - 10 September 2019 - 2:41pm
Pharmacy contractors and their teams should be aware of reimbursement implications of hand-written amendments on NHS dental prescription forms (FP10D). Dentists often use a stamp for prescribing items such as Colgate® Duraphat (or sodium fluoride toothpaste).  Sometimes, in addition to the stamp, the dentist also states a quantity of the prescribed medicine as an amendment with no date and prescriber initials/signature marking the amendment. The Pharmacy Services team has confirmed with the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA), how pharmacy contractors will be reimbursed for prescriptions which bear differing stamped and prescribed quantities. What the prescription states: What will the NHSBSA pay? Reason/action Stamped quantity only Reimbursement will be based on the stamped quantity The NHSBSA will base payment on the stamped quantity of the prescribed item. The pharmacy contractor is not required to take further action Stamped quantity and hand-written quantity which differ Reimbursement will be based on the stamped quantity; the NHSBSA will not take into account the handwritten quantity NHSBSA considers the handwritten quantity to be a “hand amendment”; to be reimbursed for the handwritten quantity, the prescriber must initial/sign and date the amendment. The prescription should be returned to the prescriber for amendment Stamped quantity  and handwritten quantity which differ that has been initialed/signed and dated by the prescriber Reimbursement will be based on the handwritten quantity The NHSBSA will take into account the hand-written amendment because it has been initialed/signed and dated.…
Categories: National News

CPCF Roadshow continues with Ipswich and Peterborough

PSNC News - 10 September 2019 - 12:30pm

Following the announcement of a five-year deal on the Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework (CPCF), PSNC is holding a series of Sunday roadshow events for community pharmacists across England.

The Roadshow continues this Sunday (15th September) with events being held in Ipswich and Peterborough, so there is not long left to secure a place.

What the Roadshow offers

The events, hosted by PSNC Chief Executive Simon Dukes and his team, aim to help community pharmacy teams to learn about the deal, share their opinions and ask questions. By hearing directly from members of PSNC’s Negotiating Team, attendees will gain insights into how this agreement was reached and what it means for pharmacies.

They will also provide an opportunity to explore what the future holds for your pharmacy; to help prepare yourself and your team for that; and to hold PSNC to account for the decisions it has made.

The Roadshow will visit 12 venues on 7 successive Sundays, taking in all the English regions and finishing at the Pharmacy Show on 6th October. Whilst events are free to attend, community pharmacists and their teams are asked to register in advance.

Register to attend the CPCF Roadshow now

Categories: National News

CPPE Corner: Foundation pharmacist training pathway

PSNC News - 10 September 2019 - 11:37am

The Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education (CPPE) is once again running its Foundation pharmacist training pathway programme. We spoke to Clare Smith, Programme lead for the Foundation pharmacist training pathway at CPPE, to find out more.

Applications are now open for the next intake of pharmacists on the Foundation pharmacist training pathway (FPTP). The 12-month, fully-funded programme is divided into six modules that are designed to help early career pharmacists meet a range of competencies during the first stage of their foundation training.

The six modules cover topics from leadership to consultation skills and person-centred care to equip learners to work with pharmacy colleagues, peers and the multidisciplinary team to develop personally and professionally. On completion of the programme, pharmacists will be able to demonstrate the skills and knowledge to deliver medicines optimisation and offer high-quality, safe and cost-effective medicines support.

Pharmacists completing the pathway will participate in online and self-directed learning to meet aspects of their personal development plan. Participants are supported throughout the 12 months of the programme by a CPPE education supervisor. The education supervisor’s role includes providing individual support for foundation pharmacists, personal development planning and conducting practice-based assessments and feedback.

The programme is available to newly qualified pharmacists (qualified from 2017 onwards); community pharmacists returning to practice after a career break; and those moving to community practice from another practice environment. Applicants must also work for at least three days a week as either a locum pharmacist or in an independent or small multiple community pharmacy.

The closing date for applications for the FPTP is 6th October 2019, before learning commences on 4th November 2019. With only a limited number of spaces on the pathway, apply now.

Categories: National News

Important updates on the Pharmacy Quality Scheme

PSNC News - 9 September 2019 - 6:17pm

Following further discussions between PSNC and NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I) on the Pharmacy Quality Scheme (PQS), PSNC has published Briefing 041/19: The Pharmacy Quality Scheme which provides important updates and new information on the Scheme.

Community pharmacy contractors are strongly encouraged to read the Briefing to ensure they are fully briefed on the information that is currently available, including key dates and the points value of the domains of the Scheme.

Key points that contractors need to be aware of include:

  • Contractors will need to update their NHS website profile and their Directory of Services profile between 00.00am on 1st October 2019 and 11.59pm on 30th November 2019 – please note, this is ahead of the declaration period, which is different to previous schemes; if contractors miss this deadline they will not meet the gateway criteria (updating the NHS website profile is a gateway criterion) and will therefore NOT be entitled to claim a PQS payment in February 2020;
  • Contractors need to meet all the quality criteria listed in each domain to achieve payment for that domain, for example, in the Risk management and safety domain, there are five quality criteria that contractors must meet in order to claim the 30 points available for that domain; and
  • Claiming for an Aspiration payment and making a PQS declaration must be made on the NHSBSA Manage Your Service (MYS) application; contractors are required to register to be able to access the MYS application.

Information that has previously been published but has now changed includes:

  • There will be no review point as there has been in previous Quality Payments Schemes. Contractors will be required to make a declaration between 9am on 3rd February 2020 and 11.59pm on 28th February 2020 but contractors will be required to declare that on the day of making their declaration, that they meet the gateway criteria;
  • Contractors will not be required to declare that they meet the gateway criteria in order to claim for an Aspiration payment; and
  • There have been amendments to some of the wording of the gateway and quality criteria.

 PSNC will continue to alert contractors when further information is available on PQS and when NHSE&I has published their PQS guidance. All the information that is currently available can be found on the PQS hub on the PSNC website.

Categories: National News
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