You are viewing an archive version of the PSNC website taken on 18th April 2013. This site is not updated, and may be out of date or relate to old NHS structures.
For updated and current information, please visit our new website at www.psnc.org.uk
Skip Navigation
PSNC Home Page
Advanced Search
.

Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee

Split pack dispensing and reimbursement

Following the Drug Tariff changes which came into effect on 1st July 2012 (click here for more details), payment for containers will be at the rate of 10p for every prescription item (except special containers) supplied where a split pack quantity is dispensed to account for additional containers used.

A "split pack" quantity is where the quantity prescribed on a prescription is not equal to or a multiple of the pack sizes listed in Part VIIIA of the Drug Tariff.

For non-Drug Tariff listed lines "split pack" quantity is determined by the contractor’s endorsement. Where the proprietary product is prescribed, the contractor is paid the NHS list price from the PPRS or statutory PPRS for the pack size endorsed. Where the prescription is written generically, the contractor will need to endorse the pack size and the brand name or the name of the manufacturer or wholesaler from whom the supply was purchased.

 


FAQs

What do the 1st July 2012 changes to the Pharmaceutical Services Regulations (Terms of Service) mean?

The new paragraph 8(10A)* of the Terms of Service requires from 1st July 2012, a pharmacist who dispenses a prescription ordering a quantity that is available as a manufacturer’s original pack (within the UK), or multiple of such an available pack size should supply only original packs of medicines unless; either it is not possible to obtain the manufacturer’s packs with reasonable promptness, or where it is not practicable for the pharmacist to supply in such a way, (for example because the patient’s needs or the method of administration means that supplying in the manufacturer’s pack is not practicable.

This ensures that patients are supplied with an appropriate Patient Information Leaflet (PIL) with every supply (in line with long standing EU labelling directive which has been incorporated into UK law by the Medicines for Human Use (Marketing Authorisations Etc.) Regulations 1994). Contractors should endeavour to procure pack sizes reflective of prescribing practice in the locality, which may mean having more than one pack size if significant numbers are routinely prescribed in different pack sizes (e.g. both 28s and 30s)

*(10A) Where a drug is ordered by a prescriber on a prescription form or repeatable prescription in a quantity that is, or is a multiple of a quantity that is, readily available in a pack size manufactured for a holder of a marketing authorisation for the drug, the pharmacist must provide the drug in an original pack (or original packs) of that size which has been assembled by a manufacturer of the drug for such a holder of a marketing authorisation, unless

(a) it is possible for the pharmacist to obtain such a pack (or packs) with reasonable promptness in the normal course of business; or

(b) it is not practicable for the pharmacist to provide such a pack (or packs) in response to the order (for example, because of patient needs or the method of administration of the drug)

 

How is the 10p fee being funded?

As of 1st July 2012, the container allowance has been split into two fees:

1. 10p split pack fee (known as the container allowance) and this is paid for every occasion a split pack quantity is dispensed to account for additional containers used.

2. Consumables fee is 1.24p for every dispensed item (formerly known as container allowance).

The new fees has been funded through a redistribution of the old container allowance fees paid.

 

What is recognised as a "split pack" quantity on a prescription?

A "split pack" quantity is where the quantity prescribed on a prescription is not equal to or a multiple of the pack sizes listed in the Drug Tariff.

For non-Drug Tariff listed lines "split pack" quantity is determined by the contractor’s endorsement. Where the proprietary product is prescribed, contractors are paid the NHS list price from the PPRS or statutory PPRS for the pack size endorsed. Where the prescription is written generically, the contractor will need to endorse in the usual way with the pack size and the brand name or the name of the manufacturer or wholesaler from whom the supply was purchased.

The container allowance fee (10p) is paid whenever the quantity prescribed is not equal to or a multiple of a Drug Tariff listed or contractor endorsed pack size. 

 

If I receive a prescription for a quantity readily available in an original pack, am I obliged to dispense only this pack size or can I split an alternative pack and be paid the "split pack" container allowance fee?

The Terms of Service require supply of a product in a manufacturer’s original pack where practicable. If a contractor does not have the prescribed pack size available but can supply the product from an alternative pack size, they could do so to ensure that the patient receives their medication with reasonable promptness. However, for Drug Tariff listed lines payment will only be based on the Drug Tariff listed pack size.

The 10p container allowance payment for providing a split pack is payable where the quantity prescribed is outside of a Drug Tariff listed pack size. In this instance, as the quantity prescribed is readily available in an original pack, the 10p payment would not be made.

 

I have a prescription for 224 x Paracetamol Tablets 500mg, which pack size can I use?

Paracetamol 500mg Tablets has two listed pack sizes; 32 and 100. 224 is an exact multiple of 32 and so this pack size should be provided however; if the 32 pack size cannot be supplied with reasonable promptness (as above), the contractor may dispense from the 100 pack size.

In this scenario, the contractor would not receive the 10p payment as the quantity prescribed is a multiple of a readily available original pack.

 

I have a prescription for 112 x Paracetamol 500mg tablets – Can I supply 1x 100 tablets under the new regulations? Do the new rules allow me to dispense in original packs i.e. to the nearest available pack size where the prescribed quantity does not correspond to one?

No, the Terms of Service require the pharmacist to supply the amount prescribed – not to round up or down, so contractors must supply the exact quantity prescribed unless the item is either classed as a special container or is a medicine considered under Clause 13 (Reconstitution of Certain Oral Liquids).

In this scenario, the quantity ordered (112) does not correspond to a manufacturer’s original pack size, so the contractor must dispense 112 by splitting packs – which will result in the extra 10p payment.

 

If I receive a prescription written as 1 x OP how can I determine the most appropriate pack size to supply?

Unless there is only one pack size available for the product, prescriptions where an original pack has been prescribed will require amendment to specify the pack size requested following confirmation from the prescriber.

 

Do you need to fully endorse every prescription with the pack size used for supply?

Endorsement arrangements have been reduced – where the product is listed in Categories A or M in Part VIIIA of the Drug Tariff, no endorsement is required. Only products not listed in the Drug Tariff or those that are in Category C with more than one pack size listed require the prescription to be endorsed with the pack size used for supply. Payment for Category A and M products will be based pro-rata on the price listed in Part VIIIA of the Drug Tariff irrespective of the pack size used for supply, as they will have the same price per unit. Products not listed in the Drug Tariff will be priced according to the prescription endorsement.

 

Does split pack dispensing apply to controlled drugs too e.g. Oxycodone and Morphine Sulphate?

Yes, all items listed in Part VIIIA including controlled drugs are affected by the new split pack dispensing rules.