NPSA hails CSO changes

Pharmacy Daily - - Front Page -

THE Na­tional Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal Ser­vices As­so­ci­a­tion (NPSA) says the new guide­lines for the Com­mu­nity Ser­vice Obli­ga­tion fund­ing pool (PD Mon) will up­hold the in­tent of Na­tional Medicine Pol­icy while pro­vid­ing cer­tainty for whole­salers, phar­ma­cies and ul­ti­mately pa­tients.

NPSA Chair­man Mark Hooper from Sigma Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals hailed the an­nounce­ment by As­traZeneca to tran­si­tion away from ex­clu­sivedi­rect ar­range­ments from 01 Feb 2019 (PD yes­ter­day), say­ing it was good news for pa­tients be­cause it means phar­ma­cies can stock medicines from more than one sup­plier.

“How­ever we still have some con­cerns about the im­pact of ex­clu­sive-di­rect ar­range­ments on the sus­tain­abil­ity of the CSO model,” Hooper added.

Cur­rently Pfizer and Am­gen main­tain di­rect distri­bu­tion into phar­ma­cies, but the up­dated CSO Deeds note that medicines sub­ject to ex­clu­sive di­rect deals will not at­tract CSO pay­ments.

The new Deeds pro­hibit new ex­clu­sive di­rect sup­ply ar­range­ments af­ter 2020, and Hooper wel­comed the ar­range­ments for the CSO pool which sup­ports whole­salers in meet­ing high reg­u­la­tory stan­dards such as the distri­bu­tion of all PBS prod­ucts to phar­ma­cies - in­clud­ing low-vol­ume and low-value medicines - and the distri­bu­tion of the full PBS range to ru­ral and re­mote post­codes, gen­er­ally within 24 hours, Hooper said.

“The CSO isn’t al­low­ing in­di­vid­ual com­pa­nies to gain more con­trol of the mar­ket...it’s about se­cur­ing a sup­ply chain that works in pa­tients’ best in­ter­ests.

“That means en­sur­ing all PBSlisted medicines are avail­able to all CSO dis­trib­u­tors at equiv­a­lent pric­ing,” the NPSA Chair­man said.

He said the As­so­ci­a­tion con­tin­ued to work with Govern­ment and the De­part­ment of Health “to­wards en­sur­ing all as­pects of pa­tient ac­cess to PBS medicines reg­u­lated to con­sis­tent, high stan­dards”.

NPSA mem­bers in­clude Sigma, Sym­bion, API and Na­tional Phar­ma­cies.

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