The total cost of Covid-19-related expenses claimed by community pharmacy contractors is “significantly higher” than the £120 million initial limit offered by the government, the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) said.

In June, the PSNC announced that contractors would have until August 15 to make claims for the pandemic related costs they incurred between March 2020 and March 2021.

As outlined in the Drug Tariff document, contractors’ cost claims are subject to pre- and post-payment verification, while the negotiator is now in “urgent discussions with the NHS Business Services Authority (NHS BSA) and the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) about any outliers identified”.

“PSNC is also demanding that contractors receive a payment for their Covid-19 costs in time for the first repayment of last year’s advance payments,” the negotiator said.

Contractors are expected to receive payments for their claims on October 1, and the DHSC had planned to take back repayments in six monthly sums.

Meanwhile, the sector has to pay back the £370m advance funding given to recognise contractors’ cashflow pressures during thepandemic.

PSNC will update contractors as soon as more information is available.

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