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By Christopher Andrew Langley, Dawn Belcher

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There is a very large range of appliances that may be prescribed on the NHS and it is not practical for community pharmacies to stock all available products. Appliance contractors are set up to provide these items to patients, often direct to their homes. In addition, they provide advice and guidance on how to use the various items. 8). 2 NHS prescriptions may be dispensed by: • pharmacists via registered pharmacies • dispensing doctors (geographical restrictions apply) • appliance contractors (appliances only).

This deduction is based on a scale, set against the monthly total of the price of the items dispensed. Details of this scale can be found in Part V. It should be noted that some items will not attract a discount from the wholesaler when purchased by the pharmacy contractor. These items were known as ‘zero discount’ or ‘ZD’ items. The list of drugs for which discount is not deducted can be found in Part II of the Drug Tariff. This part contains a list of those drugs with common pack sizes. If a drug specified in this list is supplied but the relative prescription form is not endorsed payment will be calculated on the basis of the price for the pack size listed.

However, if it was a drug that was rarely used, the pharmacy contractor will be financially disadvantaged if they did not supply the remainder against a prescription before the end of the item’s shelf-life. Therefore, for certain items the Prescription Pricing Division will pay for the entire container (not just the proportion supplied). If a further prescription is received for the same item within six-months of a broken bulk request, the Prescription Pricing Division will assume that the supply has been made from the remainder and the only payments which will be made are professional fees and container allowances until the remainder has been used up.

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