Alliance Healthcare, one of the largest pharmaceutical wholesalers in Europe, has expressed huge disappointment over the Treasury’s rejection for the funding uplift demand for Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework (CPCF) in England.
On Monday (August 23), the government announced to keep funding for the CPCF unchanged at £2.592 billion for the year 2021/22, keeping the allocation same for the third year in a row.
The decision follows an intensive period of tripartite negotiations, lasting around three months between the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC), NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I) and the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), in line with the five-year CPCF deal.
Julian Mount, Managing Director, Alliance Healthcare said: “Whilst we recognise that the PSNC tried it’s upmost for a funding uplift, this is no doubt a big disappointment for pharmacy contractors in England having remained open during the Covid-19 period to work for their local communities with an important, valuable & efficient pharmacy service.
“Against a back drop of having to submit claims for their extra Covid-19 costs, getting ready for a potential record-breaking flu vaccination programme, continued work-force pressures and increasing inflationary cost, going backwards in real terms for funding will be extremely challenging and the future viability of the pharmacy network has already been highlighted many times.”
Meanwhile, he welcomed some of the announcements including maintenance of Transitional Payments for 2021/21; expansion of New Medicine Service (NMS) with the cap increased from 0.5 per cent to 1 per cent of monthly prescription volume and an additional catch-up NMS for patients who missed out during Covid-19.
He also lauded the introduction of Hypertension Case-Finding Service and Smoking Cessation Service, especially that the incentive payments for the Hypertension Case-Finding Service will be funded with money outside the £2.592 bn.
“As the largest independent wholesaler in the UK, my team across Alliance Healthcare, especially the Alphega UK team, will do all we can to support community pharmacies in England to deliver the two New Advanced Services. We will continue to do what we can to highlight the important role community pharmacies play in the fabric of the NHS primary care team,” he added.