More on the cuts

Thanks to the efforts of the IPU I now have a copy of the items to be deleted from the GMS/DPS. It is marked “Draft” but it is also marked “Effective 1st September 2012”. As well as the products mentioned in the previous post the list also includes Gluten Free products. Now begins the wait to see if I am paid for the gluten free products that I dispensed on Saturday in good faith. As of this afternoon I still have not received or heard anything from the HSE/GMS about these cuts. I wonder about the legality of retrospectively applying cuts.
Some of my fellow pharmacists telephoned the HSE, the GMS and the Dept of Health this morning to ask them about these cuts. The reply from all was “What cuts?” One even went as far as to ask the pharmacist to fax them a copy of the list of products! Not only is there a panic going on but the left hand hasn’t told the right one what they are doing yet.
As I posted earlier “Brace yourself Bridget”

Latest cuts in GMS/DPS

The latest cuts show two things about the Dept. of Health/GMS/HSE.
Firstly they are in panic mode. Making cuts with immediate effect, with no notice to patients or pharmacists is not the sign of well thought out plans. The fact that one of the products, Orlistat, has not been available for several months now means that there will be NO savings to be made in respect of this product.
Secondly not notifying pharmacists just signifies the lack of any respect that the Dept./HSE/GMS have for pharmacists. These cuts are to be effective from today but as yet no pharmacist has been notified of this, officially or otherwise. Credit at least to the IPU who texted and emailed us to alert us that something was up.
There is no word that the docs are to be asked to stop prescribing these products. It will be left to the pharmacist to break the news to patients that a medicine that they have been on long term will no longer be covered. And if they want to keep taking it then they will have to pay.

Alas I fear that this is going to be that start of a series of panic measures. All I can say is “Brace yourself Bridget!”