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Endorsing guides: Simplifying the endorsing process


Avoid making costly endorsing mistakes

With unlicensed medicines making up just 1% of all prescriptions, it is no surprise that pharmacy teams may be less familiar with the endorsing process associated with specials and obtains. Endorsements should be accurate, concise and legible and any mistake could lead to costly and time-consuming errors.

Chemist and Druggist revealed the top mistakes leading to inaccurate endorsement payments. The three highest ranking errors relating to unlicensed medicines are:

  1. Not monitoring expensive items: No endorsement is required for an expensive item. However the Pharmacy Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) does recommend that pharmacy teams:
    1. Highlight the item during dispensing
    2. File the prescription separately
    3. Submit the prescription in the red separator at the end of the month
    4. Keep a log of all expensive items for reconciliation with the FP34 schedule of payment for that dispensing month.

  2. Confusion between specials and special obtains: Special obtains and specials need to be differentiated. Often pharmacy teams assume all special obtains are unlicensed specials or imported lines, however special obtains can be any product. Essentially special obtains are products that the wholesaler does not stock as a standard line, and therefore have to be ordered on an ad hoc basis. Whereas unlicensed specials will come with a specials manufacturer number that can be found on the Certificate of Conformity/Certificate of Analysis (COC/COA).

  3. Not fully endorsing unlicensed specials: Checking whether prescriptions for unlicensed specials or imports are listed in Part VIIIB of the drug tariff will help to determine what needs to be endorsed. There are different rules for listed and unlisted specials:

Part VIIIB - listed unlicensed specials

You only need to endorse the following:

  • Volume dispensed (where this is different from the quantity prescribed); and
  • The letters ‘SP’ or ‘ED’ in order to claim for the £20 sourcing fee.

Unlicensed specials not listed in Part VIIIB

These items require the following endorsements:

  • Amount dispensed over the pack size used, e.g. 30/30
  • Price of pack used (minus discounts and rebates), e.g. £30/pack
  • MHRA specials licence number or importer's number
  • The letters 'SP' or 'ED' for £20 sourcing fee.

Simplifying the endorsing process

To help pharmacists stay compliant and get correctly reimbursed, we have introduced a suite of handy, UK endorsing guides that take pharmacists through each step of the endorsing process for unlicensed medicines and imports (tariff and non-tariff) as well as special obtains.

Guides are available for England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland with each being available to download at your convenience. If you would like more help and advice on correct endorsing practices, please contact the Customer Service team on 08000 439 372.