HDA Media And Political Bulletin – 15 March 2016

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Parliamentary Coverage

House of Lords, Written Answers, Medical Equipment: Procurement, 14 March 2016


Asked by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: What action they are taking to ensure that the adoption of new medical device technology by the NHS is not frustrated by the five-year length of NHS Supply Chain Framework Agreements, given the life cycle of some inventions.


The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Prior of Brampton) (Con): The framework agreements awarded by NHS Supply Chain primarily cover existing products and services. National frameworks reduce the duplication of effort faced by suppliers trying to ‘sell their’ products into the National Health Service on a trust by trust basis by providing a single route, compliant with European Union public procurement regulations.

The scope and duration of each framework agreement takes into account the nature of the product category, including an assessment of whether the product market is emerging or fast moving.

In addition, NHS Supply Chain hosts an Innovation Scorecard enabling suppliers to introduce truly innovative products into the NHS following a submission through the online tool on the organisation’s website. If a product is deemed to be innovative, the product can be fast-tracked and made available to the NHS through NHS Supply Chain’s online and national catalogues usually within a six month period.

The Accelerated Access Review, announced by the Minister for Life Sciences in November 2014 will make recommendations to Government on speeding up access to transformative new medicines and technologies for NHS patients, using data from initiatives such as the CDF and EAMS, as well as greater use of procurement purchasing power to accelerate cost effective uptake of innovations.

Its key aims are to improve care and outcomes by giving patients quicker access to new treatment and improve the longer-term affordability of the product pipeline. The Review published an interim report in October 2015 and will make further recommendations to Government by April 2016.


House of Commons, Written Answers, Health: Prescription Drugs, 14 March 2016


Roger Godsiff, MP:

Whether clinical commissioning groups are permitted to prescribe medications which NICE does not recommend as cost effective.


Department of Health


George Freeman, MP:

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence’s (NICE) clinical guidelines represent best practice, based on the available evidence, and are developed through wide consultation. They relate to a whole pathway of care and are not subject to the same legal funding requirement as NICE’s technology appraisals.

NICE’s technology appraisal guidance makes recommendations on whether selected drugs and treatments represent a clinically and cost effective use of National Health Service resources. Commissioners are legally required to fund drugs and treatments recommended in NICE’s technology appraisal guidance within three months of its final guidance being issued.

In the absence of positive guidance from NICE, it is for commissioners to make decisions on whether to fund this treatment based on an assessment of the available evidence. Prescribing decisions are made by clinicians, based on their patients’ individual clinical circumstances.



House of Lords, Written Answers, Pharmacy: Finance, 14 March 2016


Asked by Baroness Finlay of Llandaff: How the six per cent decrease in community pharmacy funding will be allocated to ensure that access to medication at all times is maintained, in particular for those who are frail or who have complex conditions.


The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Prior of Brampton) (Con): Community pharmacy is a vital part of the National Health Service and can play an even greater role. In the Spending Review, the Government re-affirmed the need for the NHS to deliver £22 billion in efficiency savings by 2020/21 as set out in the NHS’s own plan, the Five Year Forward View. Community pharmacy is a core part of NHS primary care and has an important contribution to make as the NHS rises to these challenges. The Government believes efficiencies can be made without compromising the quality of services including patients’ access to medicines.

Our aim is to ensure that those community pharmacies upon which people depend continue to thrive and so we are consulting on the introduction of a Pharmacy Access Scheme, which will provide more NHS funds to certain pharmacies compared to others, considering factors such as location and the health needs of the local population.


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HDA Media And Political Bulletin – 15 March 2016

From Factory to Pharmacy

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