Pharmacists prescribing new medication to patients with a range of long-term conditions will earn between £20 and £28 for each patient if they also provide extra help with patient education and compliance.
The Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) and NHS Employers have struck a deal to reward pharmacists taking part in the New Medicines Service (NMS).
The NMS focuses on patients with asthma, COPD, type 2 diabetes, antiplatelet/anticoagulant therapy, and hypertension who have been prescribed new medicines. It is hoped that NMS will improve medicines adherence and increase patients’ engagement with their condition and medicines, which will support them in making decisions about their treatment and self-management.
It is also hoped to reduce medicines wastage and cut hospital admissions due to adverse events associated with medicines.
The NMS was introduced in October 2011 and provides early support to patients to maximise the benefits of the medication they have been prescribed.
The PSNC announced yesterday that the Department of Health Ministers have agreed changes to the community pharmacy payment structure.
From May 2012, contractors will earn between £20 and £28 for each NMS full service intervention they provide depending on the total number of patients who receive the service in the month.
The new structure will provide reward for each NMS provided whilst also encouraging the provision of the service to the greatest number of patients.
In recognition of the work that contractors undertook between October 2011 and April 2012, a loyalty payment will be made to contractors for activity that fell below the first target level or between target levels.
Claims for NMS full service interventions submitted for this period which fell below the first target level will be rewarded at £20 each, while those which fell between bands will be rewarded at £25 per intervention.
Felicity Cox, lead negotiator of the NHS Employers community pharmacy negotiating team said:
“We are pleased to have concluded an agreement on changes to the New Medicine Service payment structure.
"The take up of the service has been encouraging, with patients benefiting from the interventions delivered by pharmacists who are finding the service professionally rewarding.
"We believe the new payment structure will provide a fair reward for contractors delivering the service and will enable pharmacy contractors to deliver the greatest number of interventions. This will benefit both the NHS and its patients.”