The Department of Health has agreed new fee arrangements for oral liquid methadone to be

introduced  from April 2013.

 The NHS (Pharmaceutical and Local Pharmaceutical Services) Regulations 2013 states:

In the case of oral liquid methadone, P (in practice, a registered pharmacist) must decide

whether it would be most appropriate to provide —

(a) each dose in a separate container;

(b) an original pack (or original packs); or

(c) the oral liquid methadone in some other way,

and P must then provide it in packaging that accords with that decision.

The PSNC clarifies:

On each occasion the pharmacist provides methadone to the patient i.e. for each interaction or pick-up,” contractors will continue to receive a professional fee, CD fee, consumables allowance and any relevant volume related fees.

The “item level fee” for oral liquid methadone prescriptions (introduced in July 2012) will continue to be paid but will change to £2.50 per prescription.

As well as this fee, from April 2013 contractors will be able to claim a fee of 55p per additional dose packaged separately.

“Additional” doses are doses given to patients in addition to the dose they have come to collect from the pharmacy for that day i.e. either to take at home later on that day or to cover non-collection days.

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Medilogic’s Operations & Regulatory Affairs Director, Bob Goff said “With these changes in NHS regulations making the pharmacist responsible for choosing the most appropriate means of dispensing liquid methadone to clients and the additional 55 pence fee per take out container dispensed, daily dose dispensing becomes a better option for both the clients and the pharmacy business than dispensing multiple doses in a single container.

Methasoft  provides a fast and safe means of automatically pre packing into single dose containers labelled clearly with day of consumption for each client, aiding compliance with dose regimens and ensuring doses supplied to take away actually reflect the number of days consumption with no ad hoc measuring required by the client.”

Use the interactive Fees Calculator to check how the methadone dispensing arrangements affect payments after April 1 2013.

Click the link to access the calculator:

Methadone Fees Calculator April 2013 interactive