From 1st March 2024, an additional fixed out-of-pocket expense payment of £50 will be automatically applied to NHS prescriptions for Cefuroxime 5% eye drops preservative free (a non-Drug Tariff special).

Due to the unique temperature controlled transport and storage requirements of Cefuroxime 5% eye drops preservative free, significant delivery and handling charges are often incurred by pharmacies when ordering these drops for dispensing against NHS prescriptions. The delivery and handling charges cannot be re-claimed by community pharmacy owners because out-of-pocket expense claims are not permitted for any Tariff or non-Tariff specials. Therefore, Community Pharmacy England, on behalf of community pharmacy owners, made representations to the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) to consider allowing these costs to be claimed.

No additional endorsements are required to claim this fixed £50 fixed out-of-pocket expense payment i.e. the ‘XP’ or ‘OOP’ endorsement is not required. This payment will only apply to NHS prescriptions for Cefuroxime 5% eye drops preservative free which is rarely dispensed in community pharmacy settings. Other applicable fees such as the £20 fixed fee specials handling fee (claimed by endorsing ‘SP’) will continue to be paid.

The £50 out-of-pocket expense payment will also be backdated to cover prescriptions submitted as dispensed between April 2023 and February 2024. We are awaiting clarification as to how this will be shown on the Schedule of Payments.

Details of this change can be found in the Drug Tariff Part II Clause 12 – Out of Pocket Expenses

The image below shows how a prescription should be endorsed and in this example the £20 SP fee and the additional £50 OOP fixed fee would be paid.

Further information on out of pocket expenses can be found here and dispensing unlicensed specials here.


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