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Welsh Government signals direction for community pharmacies in contract reform

Features include capped and reducing dispensing fees and technician training

December 16th 2021

Tagged: Pharmacy owners' news Wales

By Ailsa Colquhoun

Capped and reducing dispensing fees and funding for pharmacy technician training are features of the new community pharmacy framework for Wales.

Signalling a determined move away from dispensing to clinical service development, the Welsh Government has set out its funding reform for community pharmacy in Wales.

Key points of the community pharmacy contractual framework reform are as follows:

  • From April 2022 dispensing fees will be capped at £80m per annum with overall funding associated with dispensing prescriptions reduced to £106.8m. This will reduce further to £99.2m per annum from April 2023.
  • Any increase in dispensing costs associated with hospital prescription items dispensed in community pharmacies will be excluded from the calculation of CPCF funding and met by the relevant health boards
  • Up to £4.3m will be available for 2022-24 to incentivise the recruitment and training of pharmacy technicians in community pharmacy
  • Funding for independent prescribing services will increase from £4.2m from April 2022 to at least £18.4m by 2024. There is a stated commitment to support at least 60 community pharmacists every year to complete independent prescribing training.
  • During 2022-23, pharmacies will be enabled to provide both bridging and quick start contraception. The four priority clinical pharmacy services are: the common ailment, emergency contraception, emergency medicine supply and seasonal influenza vaccination services.