Category M is to rise by £10 million per month from April, as arrangements to claw back excess margin payments from pharmacies in England come to an end.
The arrangements have been in place since November, and have reduced payments to dispensing GPs, as well as pharmacies.
The announcement comes as the Department of Health and Social Care and the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) have agreed provisional arrangements for community pharmacy funding from April 2019 until the contract can be formally renegotiated. PSNC has suggested this could be in place in October.
Under the terms of the interim contract:
- The current funding level of £2.592 billion per year will continue
- Pharmacies may only deliver a maximum of 200 medicines use reviews (MURs) in the first six months of the year
Setting out the Department of Health and Social Care’s vision for pharmacy, minister Steve Brine said: “Community pharmacy’s further integration into primary care networks [will] enable us to better utilise the skill set and reach of pharmacy teams.