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HDA Media And Political Bulletin – 12 September 2016

Be ready for EU scanning law 6 months early, warns Alliance

09 September 2016, Chemist & Druggist, Lilian Anekwe

 

Jeremy Main, the Managing Director of Alliance Healthcare has warned that pharmacies should be prepared for the EU falsified medicines directive (FMD) by September 2018, despite the law not coming into force until February 2019. Mr Main made it clear that the pharmaceutical sector cannot continue to put off the preparations for the legislation otherwise they may end up caught off guard by the Christmas and New Year’s rush.

 

Pharmacy will shoulder its share of efficiency savings, warns Mowat

09 September 2016, Pharmacy Business, Neil Trainis

 

The Community Health and Care Minister, David Mowat, has reminded the pharmacy sector that it will not be exempt from the governments bid to make £20 billion in efficiency saving. This warning comes after the announcement that the efficiency savings cuts to community pharmacy have been delayed. He emphasised that the NHS has to make major savings over the coming years and that this will need to be shared across all parts of the healthcare community.

 

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Be ready for EU scanning law 6 months early, warns Alliance

09 September 2016, Chemist & Druggist, Lilian Anekwe

 

Contractors must brace themselves for EU anti-counterfeiting legislation six months before it comes into effect, Alliance Healthcare’s managing director has warned.

When the falsified medicines directive (FMD) comes into force in February 2019, it will require every pharmacy in the UK to scan barcodes, check tamper-proof devices and decommission medicines to prevent them from being reused.

In an exclusive interview with C+D last week (August 31), Alliance Healthcare managing director Jeremy Main said pharmacies should be prepared for the EU law by September 2018, so they are not caught off-guard by the Christmas and New Year rush.

The sector can no longer afford to “bury its head in the sand” about the legislation, as it will have a “big impact” on community pharmacy, Mr Main said.

Two-year timeframe

“FMD is one of the big challenges we’ve got ahead,” he added. “It’s got to be implemented by February 2019, but we’ll really need to have done the work by September 2018, which is just two years away.”

Alliance Healthcare estimates that gearing up for the implementation of the legislation could cost millions, through buying new equipment – such as barcode scanners to track and trace medicines – and introducing new working practices for staff.

“We think we now fully understand what needs to be done, and we’re going to make sure that we implement the right solution to support our business and the whole industry,” Mr Main said.

Hub-and-spoke concerns

Mr Main also said plans to introduce more automation in the sector – by allowing independent pharmacies to legally operate automated dispensing hubs – appeared to be “in the long grass” for now.

While Alliance Healthcare has gained some experience of operating central dispensing hubs from Boots – also owned by parent company Walgreen Boots Alliance – Mr Main said he still has concerns that hub-and-spoke is “not yet proven”.

 

Pharmacy will shoulder its share of efficiency savings, warns Mowat

09 September 2016, Pharmacy Business, Neil Trainis

 

David Mowat, the community health and care minister, punctured any optimism community pharmacy might be feeling over a possible u-turn on cuts to its funding by reminding the profession it is not exempt from the government’s bid to make £20 billion in efficiency savings.

In what was a sobering nudge to pharmacy on a relative high after the government’s decision to delay its £170 million cut to pharmacy’s 2016-17 budget, Mowat (pictured) said hard times lay ahead for all sectors within the NHS.

“The message that I’m giving you is that we are looking at (the plans) but it is also true, and there is no getting away from this, that over the next few years in the NHS there is a need for something like £20 billion worth of productivity savings,” he said during the PSNC’s launch of a report which revealed pharmacy contributed £3 billion to the NHS, public sector and wider society last year.

“That will need to be shared across all parts of the healthcare community. There’s a new government, a new Prime Minister and a new Chancellor of the Exchequer and we are taking a look at the way forward.”

Mowat did not say how long the government would take to review its plan to cut pharmacy funding or what the chances are that it might reverse its decision, saying only that they would “be coming back with proposals as soon as possible.”

Mowat’s remarks came as the PSNC unveiled a report highlighting the value of community pharmacy, a study that appeared to impress the pharmacy minister. He also praised Pharmacy Voice’s Community Pharmacy Forward View and even found time to inject a touch of humour into proceedings.

“I discovered my daughter-in-law’s sister is a pharmacist so there’s another lobbying mechanism,” he said to the backdrop of laughs.

HDA Media And Political Bulletin – 12 September 2016

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