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Pharmacy Access Scheme (PhAS)

December 20, 2016 by Nitin Makadia0

Please note: The deadline for review was end of February 2017 and is now closed


Pharmacy Funding Series

2nd in our series of 4

Funded from the reduced CPCF sum, PhAS has been designed to protect access to community pharmacy, not to protect pharmacies. The Department of Health has set criteria based on existing dispensing volume and distance to the nearest alternative pharmacy to decide who is eligible.

  • High dispensing volume pharmacies in the top 25% are not eligible
  • Any pharmacy that is less than 1 mile* from the nearest alternative pharmacy is not eligible
    • *In the 20% most deprived areas, this qualifying distance is reduced to 0.8 miles

So, if you are a low dispensing volume pharmacy that is no longer commercially viable, but have another pharmacy within the quaifying distance, you will not receive PhAS


I think I qualify, how do I apply?

If you qualify you should automatically receive the payment, there is no application process. We say ‘should’ because there is no guarantee everyone has been correctly identified. Every pharmacy that has been identified is listed by the Department Of Health here, but the list is under review and changes being made.

In order to determine eligibility you should take into account any barriers to the qualifying distance. Are there any road closures? Is there a steep incline? Have the distance measurements just been taken incorrectly? PSNC have a useful flowchart available here.

This topic is covered very well by PSNC and if you have not yet done so, you should view their webinar on PhAS, available here


Great, I will be getting PhAS so I can relax as I won’t be hit by any cuts

Unfortunately that’s not the whole picture.

Firstly, even pharmacies in receipt of PhAS are expected to make efficiency savings, although these are limited to 1% in 2016/17 and 3% in 2017/18. So there will be a slight cut in income here.

Secondly, PhAS is really only a top-up and assumes you fulfill 100% of the criteria to be eligible for Quality Payments. You will still receive PhAS but on its own it won’t be enough to match your previous income.


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