Understanding Part VIIID of the NHS Drug Tariff: Specials and Imported Unlicensed Medicines

Part VIIID of the NHS Drug Tariff delineates the payment arrangements for specials and imported unlicensed medicines, focusing primarily on unlicensed tablets and capsules. This crucial part of the Tariff ensures that pharmacies are fairly reimbursed for these essential, yet often complex, medicinal products. This blog post aims to clarify the reimbursement process and guidelines for Part VIIID, enabling pharmacies to navigate this segment effectively.

Overview of Part VIIID

Part VIIID establishes a structured approach to the reimbursement for specials (mainly unlicensed tablets and capsules), with prices calculated relative to commonly identified pack sizes. This part of the Drug Tariff is designed to support pharmacies in their provision of specialized medications tailored to individual patient needs, ensuring that the financial aspects of dispensing these medicines are clearly defined.

Key Features of Part VIIID

  • Reimbursement Based on Pack Sizes:

    The reimbursement prices for specials listed in Part VIIID are calculated in relation to pack sizes that are commonly used. This standardization aids in the consistency of reimbursement across pharmacies.

  • Broken Bulk Claims:

    Pharmacies can claim Broken Bulk for specials listed in Part VIIID, except those classified as special containers. This provision allows pharmacies to be reimbursed for the exact quantity of a special medicine dispensed, ensuring they are not at a financial disadvantage when providing partial packs of these unlicensed products.

  • Fixed Dispensing Fee:

    A fixed fee of £20 is allocated for dispensing any unlicensed special or imported medicine manufactured under a Manufacturer 'Specials' Licence or sourced under a Wholesale Dealer Licence issued by the MHRA. This fee is intended to cover all costs incurred in sourcing these products, from procurement to delivery.

Important Considerations

  • Restrictions on Broken Bulk Claims:

    It's essential to note that Broken Bulk cannot be claimed for specials listed in Part VIIIB of the Tariff or for any non-Tariff special. This distinction highlights the unique considerations for different types of specials within the NHS Drug Tariff framework.

  • Endorsement for Fixed Fee Claims:

    To claim the £20 fixed fee, pharmacies must use the 'SP' endorsement for specials that are sourced and not extemporaneously prepared.

Navigating Part VIIID with Drug Tariff Pro

Understanding and applying the guidelines of Part VIIID can be challenging due to the specialized nature of the medicines involved and the specific reimbursement rules. Drug Tariff Pro offers comprehensive support to pharmacies navigating this part of the Drug Tariff, providing the latest information on pack sizes and reimbursement prices for specials listed in Part VIIID.


Part VIIID of the NHS Drug Tariff plays a vital role in the reimbursement process for specials and imported unlicensed medicines, ensuring pharmacies are compensated fairly for the complex service of providing these medications. By using Drug Tariff Pro, pharmacies can navigate the intricacies of Part VIIID efficiently, ensuring accurate reimbursement and compliance with NHS guidelines.

Unlock the full potential of the NHS Drug Tariff with a simple login or sign-up at Drug Tariff Pro.