Dispensing GPs are urging the BMA to include an ‘expert dispensing practice representative’ in all contract negotiations to ensure they are not operating at a loss.
The Dispensing Doctors Association (DDA) will launch its ‘call to action for dispensing practices’ next week, which encourages GPs to contact their LMCs to put pressure on the BMA.
There are just over 948 dispensing practices in England, covering 9.28 million patients in rural areas, according to NHS Digital data.
According to the DDA, parts of the GP contract require ‘urgent attention’ in order to better suit the specific needs of dispensing practices.
The DDA said: ‘The dispensing practice discount abatement mechanism (‘clawback’) is now 25 years old and it no longer reflects current discount rates: hundreds of branded medicines and appliances are supplied with no discount available, financially penalising every practice, every time that they dispense these items.
‘The dispensing fees envelope has not been updated in line with DDRB annual inflationary GP staff pay uplifts since 2019.
‘This has devalued the fee by 20 per cent, putting immense pressure on dispensing practice operating costs and jeopardising safe staffing levels.’
The association also called for the GP contract to recognise the need to deliver medicines optimisation services via dispensing practices, saying the Government had failed to deliver the new medicines or discharge medicines services in dispensing practices as well as pharmacies.
The DDA’s ‘call to action’ will be officially launched at its conference next week.
The BMA’s GP Committee England indicated earlier this month that negotiations on government funding for this uplift are likely to finish by the end of September, with ‘payments made to practices promptly thereafter’.