PSNC: We’ll give LPCs a ‘guidance’ levy figure after conference

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PSNC: We’ll give LPCs a ‘guidance’ levy figure after conference

By Neil Trainis

The PSNC has said it will give LPCs a “guidance” figure for setting the levy to help them plan for 2023-24 following tomorrow’s LPC conference.

The negotiator told Independent Community Pharmacist the figure it provides will be informed by a discussion at the September 22 conference on changes to how the levy is calculated. That discussion is not open to the press.

However, the PSNC said it would let LPCs know what figure they have arrived at next week and then update contractors.

One of the review steering group’s proposals which seeks to address the levy question appears to have caused some anxiety and confusion in the run-up to the conference.

Proposal 11 states: “Recalculate the levy apportionment, including examining levy distribution from DSPs and reallocating PSNC’s total required funding across LPCs according to each LPC’s latest share of total prescription items.”

A source told ICP the idea is to move from net ingredient cost to total number of prescriptions in determining the levy to ensure the amount paid by LPCs across the country is spread more equitably so no one LPC significantly benefits more than others. The source said the proposal is sure to spark a heated debate among LPC officials during the conference.

Kent LPC chair Amish Patel told ICP he believed the proposal would see the contractor levy in areas where internet pharmacies are based go up significantly because of the large number of prescriptions those online businesses generate.

“That doesn’t make sense. You take Leeds for example, with Pharmacy2U and arguably the largest prescription item volume in the country, are [Community Pharmacy West Yorkshire] then going to charge Pharmacy2U the biggest contractor levy as an individual?” he asked.

“Can you imagine the LPC where Pharmacy2U is based is going to have to arguably pay one of the largest levies to PSNC and where are they going to get that money from? Are they going to put that cost equally up for contractors just because Pharmacy2U is based there? Or is Pharmacy2U going to be the one that pays the biggest levy to the LPC then PSNC? That’s a task and a half in itself.

“I don’t think it’s entirely fair that all contractors in Leeds will pay the same as Pharmacy2U just because Pharmacy2U are creating the cost for that LPC.”

The source, however, said Mr Patel’s concerns were unfounded. Nobody from CPWY was available for comment.

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