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£1500 for a £2 pot of ointment......

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  • £1500 for a £2 pot of ointment......

    Wails this morning's Times . And who's doing this?

    Take a guess. You might have heard of them, quite recently in fact.

    Perhaps a good hard look at the cost of medications should be made a component of MUR's, with a view to substituting more economical but equally effective products.

    Certain employers might not be so keen on demanding as many MUR's as possible (and more) if that were the case.




  • #2
    A result of the peppermint water case. Theoretically, extemporaneous products should be subject to full analytical control. Producers would argue that the cost would be the same for one as for a thousand.
    In the old days, "Made to formula" was sufficient.
    johnep

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    • #3
      Several years ago, we were dragged along to an evening PCT meeting, where it was spelt out, that cost of specials varied widely amongst the Pharmacies within it's remit. We were given an average/acceptable price for each item and told that we had to check with GP and offer a cheaper alternative. We would receive a list of all specials our pharmacy had supplied & future scripts would have to challenged, reporting the outcome to the Medicines Management (MM) team. Payment would be clawed back if our explanations did not hold up to scrutiny or if pricing was excessive.
      The Specials provider we used happened to charge us below average prices, but we decided to shop around to see if we could get lower pricing (something no company had offered us prior). We looked in the obvious place: a local company owned by one of the Medicines Management team. You can guess the rest.
      Life is complicated.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by viru219 View Post
        Several years ago, we were dragged along to an evening PCT meeting, where it was spelt out, that cost of specials varied widely amongst the Pharmacies within it's remit. We were given an average/acceptable price for each item and told that we had to check with GP and offer a cheaper alternative. We would receive a list of all specials our pharmacy had supplied & future scripts would have to challenged, reporting the outcome to the Medicines Management (MM) team. Payment would be clawed back if our explanations did not hold up to scrutiny or if pricing was excessive.
        The Specials provider we used happened to charge us below average prices, but we decided to shop around to see if we could get lower pricing (something no company had offered us prior). We looked in the obvious place: a local company owned by one of the Medicines Management team. You can guess the rest.
        Life is complicated.
        I don't quite see how they could have enforced that if anyone decided not to co-operate. Did you go to your local LPC about the conflict of interest? I'd have enjoyed stirring the pot on that one.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Racer2 View Post

          I don't quite see how they could have enforced that if anyone decided not to co-operate. Did you go to your local LPC about the conflict of interest? I'd have enjoyed stirring the pot on that one.
          And wake up next morning with a horse's head under the bed sheets next to you?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Racer2 View Post

            I don't quite see how they could have enforced that if anyone decided not to co-operate. Did you go to your local LPC about the conflict of interest? I'd have enjoyed stirring the pot on that one.
            No. Was just peeved that we were dragged out in the evening, fed Pizza for that. Truth be told, did comply with their request. Further, today, when there is a change eg Cosmocol for Movicol, guess which shortliner has the Cosmocol at the best price going. Oh, did I not tell you, they also have a short liner alongside the Specials company?

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            • Racer2
              Racer2 commented
              Editing a comment
              Sounds to me like someone's getting backhanders, so a query about 'questionable business practices' should ruffle some feathers

          • #7
            If there is a licensed product available you legally have to query the prescription anyway. Sounds like the MM team were getting ideas above their station. There's no way they can claw back funds if they decide you can't justify the cost of a special. They could report you to the NHS BSA for fraud but it wouldn't get particularly far.

            Let's be honest, does any meds management team really seem to understand how the pharmacy contract works?
            I remember when a blog was an individual boot.

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            • #8
              Wonder if the Specials system in Scotland prevents this crazy thing from going on?

              I have also seen products where the handling and other surcharges are UKP 120 above the cost of the item UKP 7.

              Another 'whole thing' that needs looking into...
              Most of the time the internet is full of daft opinions and views that you should not take seriously let bother you at all.
              Note : If this posting contains personal views or opinions every endeavour is made to ensure they stay within social media guidelines.
              If you find you have read something that has upset or offended you an anyway please unread it at once.

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              • #9
                Not sure about every Health Board in Scotland but you do need to ask permission from the Highland Health Board for ordering expensive specials. To claim £1500 for an item costing £2 could unfortunately be construed in some quarters as exploiting the NHS even if in other respects the NHS has been a bit parsimonious with pharmacies and could bring the profession into disrepute.

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                • #10
                  Anyone else thinking of opening a specials lab?
                  I can make space in the garden shed.
                  Most of the time the internet is full of daft opinions and views that you should not take seriously let bother you at all.
                  Note : If this posting contains personal views or opinions every endeavour is made to ensure they stay within social media guidelines.
                  If you find you have read something that has upset or offended you an anyway please unread it at once.

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                  • #11
                    Originally posted by Pharmanaut View Post
                    Anyone else thinking of opening a specials lab?
                    I can make space in the garden shed.
                    I thought a pharmacy was a lab for making up extemps. Isn’t that why we had all those pharmaceutics labs in college?

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                    • #12
                      You would only need to sell three pots of this cream a day for a year to make £1.6 million profit. But I imagine many pharmacists would feel guilty that this sum could pay for 60 nurses or hospital pharmacists and they would be depriving the NHS of badly needed funds.

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                      • #13
                        Originally posted by Gordon Mackenzie View Post
                        You would only need to sell three pots of this cream a day for a year to make £1.6 million profit. But I imagine many pharmacists would feel guilty that this sum could pay for 60 nurses or hospital pharmacists and they would be depriving the NHS of badly needed funds.
                        That goes through the minds of a lot of pharmacists.
                        However, are some any better - look at NP8 endorsing.
                        (This is not possible in Scotland though).

                        Do most pharmacies have the basic dispensing equipment anymore, or have the time to make preparations?
                        England/Wales could claim "ED" of £20 and BB on bulk ingredients if the product is not in part VIIIB.

                        If in Part VIIIB a standard price applies but still can claim ED fee.
                        Most of the time the internet is full of daft opinions and views that you should not take seriously let bother you at all.
                        Note : If this posting contains personal views or opinions every endeavour is made to ensure they stay within social media guidelines.
                        If you find you have read something that has upset or offended you an anyway please unread it at once.

                        Comment


                        • #14
                          Not sure if pharmacists on here have grasped the reality of the type of mark up on the NHS the press are talking about. A mark up of £20 is one thing but very hard for phatmacists to justify selling an ointment costing £2.00 for £1500.00. The public just won't be able to take it in as many pharmacists here are unable to either. Just look at what press are saying. Of course perhaps the Government are not worrying as the sooner they can demonstrate NHS is bust the easier it will be to sell it off for a deal with the US. This type of mark up will then become de rigueur as patients have to chose between healthcare or bankruptcy:


                          https://www.retailgazette.co.uk/blog...arly-1000-nhs/




                          http://www.natlbankruptcy.com/us-medical-debt-statistics/
                          Last edited by Gordon Mackenzie; 7th, February 2018, 11:04 PM.

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                          • #15
                            http://www.natlbankruptcy.com/us-med...bt-statistics/

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