Monday, 11 June 2012

Pharmacists more comfortable dispensing now Specials Tariff in place

The APSM (Association of Pharmaceutical Specials Manufacturers) recently conducted a survey of pharmacists which showed that nearly half* of pharmacists felt more comfortable dispensing specials now the tariff is in place.  This is a positive response, but the APSM believes there is more work to be done to ensure the long term effectiveness of the Specials Tariff as a means of supporting a viable Specials sector. 

In the past two years there has been a lot of focus on cost and even though the tariff is in place, this is continuing with pressure from PCTs to reduce spend.  The APSM is concerned that this ongoing pressure on cost could impact on quality if those involved in prescribing and dispensing specials do not have sufficient knowledge to make value-based decisions about patient need and quality. 

The APSM believe that there is a need for greater education and support for those with responsibility for patient safety and they need to be supported in these decisions.    Recently, the APSM worked with the RPS to develop specials guidance for pharmacists.  They said, "We are very open to working with other professional bodies to create similar guidance and are also looking at ways in which we can provide knowledge and resources for prescribers and dispensers which will support their understanding of specials, how they are sourced, how they are costed and ultimately how this translates into factors such as quality and meeting patient need."

*Opinion Health.  May 2012