February 2013

As of 1stFebruary 2013, 48 Specials have been introduced into the Scottish Drug Tariff under a new section - Part 7S.

New arrangements for the dispensing and reimbursement of Specials and unlicensed imported medicines have been introduced in Scotland under a new section of the Scottish Drug Tariff, Part 7S. These arrangements include formal reimbursement prices for commonly prescribed Specials set by the tariff as well as a requirement to seek authorisation from the relevant Health Board. 

Following on from England & Wales' introduction of the Tariff, NHS Scotland are keen to increase transparency of Specials prescribing, ensure cost-effective sourcing and to streamline reimbursement for Specials (according to a recent NHS Circular dated 31st January 2013).

Scottish customers have raised concerns with IPS Specials, stating that they are still unsure who they need to contact at the Health Board, that they didn't have enough notice to prepare for the changes and that they are unclear what to do or how to endorse.  We are also unclear about how additional volumes over and above the pack size will be reimbursed.

We contacted Community Pharmacy Scotland (CPS) to gain clarification on endorsement requirements for prescriptions over the pack size/volume listed in the Tariff and the rules are that you will need to “round-up” to the next multiple of the Tariff pack size/volume and endorse the prescription with the multiples needed to be reimbursed. 

For example:

Prescription:  Amitriptyline Solution 10mg/5ml x 150ml
Tariff Volume:  100ml
Order:  150ml
Endorse the Prescription: 2 x 100ml
Reimbursement Due: £73.50 (2 x £36.75)

According to the CPS, there is no need for the pharmacist to get the GP to amend the prescription, the endorsement will be enough, but you will have to remember to endorse the prescription “No. x Tariff Volume”.

From the information we have gathered from NHS Scotland, we have created a handy list of all Specials on Drug Tariff in Scotland and an Endorsement Wall Chart for you to use.  Due to the current lack of certainty and communication regarding Part 7S, we will be monitoring changes or new legislation and will update accordingly.

To be kept up-to-date with changes, trends and developments in the Specials Industry, including an updated price list of the Specials Drug Tariff as soon as it is released, please click here to subscribe to our monthly e-Newsletter, eSpecially Yours.