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Written Parliamentary Questions: 8th March 2006

Pharmacist Fees

Q: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 13 February 2006, Official Report, columns 1759–64W, on pharmacist fees, what the difference is between the generic reimbursement prices and the prices at which (a) Simvastatin, (b) Lisinopril and (c) Amlodipine could be purchased by pharmacists and dispensing doctors; how much would be recovered by a discount inquiry on that basis for each drug; and if she will break down the information in table one by price category for each drug.(John Hemming)
A:holding answer 28 February 2006

As stated in my reply on 13 February 2006, Official Report, columns 1760–63, simvastatin, lisinopril and amlodipine are included in the new category M in the drug tariff which was introduced in April 2005. The new arrangements for the community pharmacy contractual framework, together with category M are managed to deliver funding for the contractual framework of £1.766 billion in 2005–06. Of this sum, £0.5 billion is derived from margins on medicines retained by community pharmacy contractors and as a result market prices available to contractors will in most cases be less than reimbursement prices paid to contractors. The Department has arrangements in place agreed under the pharmacy contractual framework to ensure that the contract sum is delivered. This is based on information from a sample of pharmacy contractors submitted on a commercial-in-confidence basis. (Jane Kennedy, Minister of State (Quality and Patient Safety), Department of Health)

Private Finance Initiative

Q: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 8 February 2006, Official Report, column 1325W, on the private finance initiative (PFI), what the net present value is of payments under the PFI contract for (a) Whipps Cross NHS Trust, (b) Peterborough Hospitals NHS Trust and (c) Walsall Hospitals NHS Trust; what the net present value is of the public sector comparator; and how much of the net present value of the public sector comparator is accounted for by the optimism bias.(John Hemming)
A:holding answer 27 February 2006

At both Walsall and Whipps Cross National Health Service Trusts, the costs of the private finance initiative option are not yet finalised so net present values of payments are not available.

The outline business case for Walsall NHS Trust is on their website at www.walsall.wmids.nhs.uk. This shows at page 97 that an allowance of 15 per cent. has been made for optimism bias at the time of publication (November 2004). Page 107 contains a table with the economic analysis of all the options considered by the trust; the public sector comparator is option six and shows the net present value as £2,670,240,000.

For Whipps Cross NHS Trust, the trust has halted their current scheme. They are in the process of revising their proposals which will then be submitted in a new outline business case. Figures from their previous outline business case are subject to significant change.

Peterborough and Stamford hospitals is a NHS foundation trust and their private finance initiative scheme is also still in procurement. In accordance with protocol on foundation trusts, requests for information on this trust should be directed to their chairman. (Jane Kennedy, Minister of State (Quality and Patient Safety), Department of Health)

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