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HDA Media And Political Bulletin – 20 May 2016

HDA raises ‘fundamental’ concerns about hub and spoke with government

19 May 2016, Pharmacy Business, Neil Trainis

 

Pharmacy Biz reports on the HDA’s concerns about the government’s proposals for hub and spoke dispensing. The article explains the problems that the HDA has with hub and spoke dispensing and concludes by stating that “It is a model that has been shown to be challenging and a substantial risk to patients receiving their medicines safely and in a timely manner”.

 

Determining the social value of community pharmacy – we need your help!

19 May 2016, PSNC

 

PwC is conducting an independent assessment of the social value of community pharmacy to provide a robust evidence base to use in the ongoing community pharmacy campaign. PSNC is encouraging community pharmacy teams to take part in the research to ensure an accurate picture of pharmacy services is given.

 

P3 Pharmacy also reports on PwC’s assessment of the social value of community pharmacy.

 

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HDA UK raises fundamental concerns on Government Hub and Spoke Proposals

19 May 2016, HDA

 

  • Hub and spoke technology is at a very early stage and its impact is unclear
  • Crucial to make distinction between hub and spoke and centralised dispensing
  • The MHRA should be responsible for regulating hub-to-spoke transportation

 

London: 19th May 2016: The Healthcare Distribution Association (HDA UK) has responded to the Government’s Human Medicines Regulations 2012 Consultation by agreeing that the hub and spoke playing field should be levelled to allow independent pharmacies access to the same technology as vertically integrated chains.

 

However, it has raised fundamental concerns regarding the Government’s proposals which do not recognise that hub and spoke technology is at a very early stage and the consequences of its introduction are not fully understood. Therefore, estimates that 45% of medicines will be dispensed through hub and spoke appear on the high side.

 

The HDA also has concerns that removing the current legislative impediment could open medicines distribution to new providers who might not be required to match the same high quality and safety standards, mandated by the MHRA, and provided by HDA member companies through their commitment to the MHRA-endorsed HDA Gold Standard of Good Distribution Practice. Although these new providers would be subject to GPhC pharmacy regulations, the distribution standards are not compatible with those currently in place for wholesale distribution. The HDA therefore argues that:

 

  • The MHRA should be responsible for inspecting hubs and hub-to-spoke transportation to ensure they comply with wholesaling levels of European Union regulations for Good Distribution Practice (GDP).
  • Pharmacy regulations for the appropriate storage and transportation of medicines should be reviewed to take into account the changes in pharmacy storage and transportation models prompted by hub and spoke.

 

It is also imperative that the distinction is made between hub and spoke and centralised dispensing. The HDA feels it is crucial that the patient-pharmacist relationship is maintained and therefore does not support centralised dispensing which sees prescriptions sent directly to patients. It is a model that has been shown to be challenging and a substantial risk to patients receiving their medicines safely and in a timely manner. However, hub and spoke technology does have the potential of freeing-up the time of ‘spoke’ pharmacists to deliver further patient-centric services.

 

Finally, the HDA has asked the Government to look into additional issues raised by the consultation, namely:

 

  • The impact from hub and spoke on the implementation of the EU Falsified Medicines Directive (FMD)
  • The need for contingency planning as a result of stock being centralised in large hubs
  • The potential disruption to the certainty of supply of medicines, which could be  caused through the challenging of any existing supply arrangements between pharmaceutical manufacturers and wholesalers

 

 

HDA raises ‘fundamental’ concerns about hub and spoke with government

19 May 2016, Pharmacy Business, Neil Trainis

 

The Healthcare Distribution Association has contacted the government to raise “fundamental” concerns about ministers’ plans to introduce a hub and spoke dispensing system across independent pharmacy.

 

In response to a government consultation the HDA said it had numerous problems with the proposals which Dr Keith Ridge, the chief pharmaceutical officer, has been particularly keen to see rolled out across community pharmacy.

 

One of those problems was the government’s failure to understand that hub and spoke technology is “at a very early stage and the consequences of its introduction are not fully understood.”

 

“Estimates that 45% of medicines will be dispensed through hub and spoke appear on the high side,” the HDA cautioned.

 

The organisation also has concerns over proposed changes to the law which would allow all community pharmacies to use hub and spoke dispensing even if they are not part of the same legal entity as the hub. That, the HDA said, might open the floodgates and allow new providers to operate unchecked.

 

“The HDA also has concerns that removing the current legislative impediment could open medicines distribution to new providers who might not be required to match the same high quality and safety standards, mandated by the MHRA, and provided by HDA member companies through their commitment to the MHRA-endorsed HDA Gold Standard of Good Distribution Practice,” it said.

 

“Although these new providers would be subject to GPhC pharmacy regulations, the distribution standards are not compatible with those currently in place for wholesale distribution.

 

“The HDA therefore argues that the MHRA should be responsible for inspecting hubs and hub-to-spoke transportation to ensure they comply with wholesaling levels of European Union regulations for Good Distribution Practice.

 

“(And) pharmacy regulations for the appropriate storage and transportation of medicines should be reviewed to take into account the changes in pharmacy storage and transportation models prompted by hub and spoke.”

 

The HDA said it did not support centralised dispensing because of the damage the system would do to the pharmacist’s relationship with the patient.

 

“It is also imperative that the distinction is made between hub and spoke and centralised dispensing. The HDA feels it is crucial that the patient-pharmacist relationship is maintained and therefore does not support centralised dispensing which sees prescriptions sent directly to patients,” it said.

 

“It is a model that has been shown to be challenging and a substantial risk to patients receiving their medicines safely and in a timely manner. However, hub and spoke technology does have the potential of freeing up the time of ‘spoke’ pharmacists to deliver further patient-centric services.”

 

The HDA also urged the government to examine hub and spoke in light of the Falsified Medicines Directive. David Reissner, a partner at Charles Russell Speechlys, told the law practice’s conference last month that hub and spoke’s impact on the Directive “doesn’t look like it’s been thought through by the Department of Health.”

 

The HDA added there was a “need for contingency planning as a result of stock being centralised in large hubs” and consideration given to “the potential disruption to the certainty of supply of medicines, which could be caused through the challenging of any existing supply arrangements between pharmaceutical manufacturers and wholesalers.”

 

Determining the social value of community pharmacy – we need your help!

19 May 2016, PSNC

 

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) is conducting an independent assessment of the social value of community pharmacy for PSNC and we are calling on community pharmacy teams to get involved to make sure this work provides an accurate picture of the services that pharmacy teams provide up and down the country.

 

The work being undertaken by PwC will help the ongoing community pharmacy campaign by providing a robust evidence base to use in discussions with stakeholders and in future negotiations. We therefore strongly encourage all pharmacy teams to get involved in this work to help highlight the social value that your pharmacy brings to your community.

 

Pharmacy teams in England can get involved by assisting with two easy to complete activities:

 

Activity 1: Survey on additional activities relating to dispensing prescriptions

Participation in a short survey on the number of additional activities that your pharmacy team has provided in relation to dispensing prescriptions, for example, delivery of medicines and provision of monitored dosage systems. A survey form is available to collate this information, and your answers can then be submitted to PSNC and PwC via an online form on the PSNC website. Please submit your response to the survey by 5th June 2016.

 

Activity 2: Data collection on ‘advice on self-care or OTC medicines’

Completion of a simple data collection form over a seven-day period (from Wednesday 1st June to Tuesday 7th June) to record how many times advice on self-care or on the use of over-the-counter medicines has been provided. Once this data has been collected, we are asking that it is submitted to PSNC and PwC via an online form on the PSNC website

 

 

PSNC to assess the social value of community pharmacy

19 May 2016, P3 Pharmacy

 

PSNC is calling on pharmacy teams to take part in new research into the social value of the community pharmacy sector.

 

The independent assessment will be carried out by professional services network, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), on behalf of PSNC, and aims to draw an accurate picture of the services pharmacy teams provide up and down the country.

 

It is hoped that the work will provide a robust evidence base to use in discussions with stakeholders and in future negotiations.

 

Pharmacy teams in England can get involved in two ways:

Firstly, they can participate in a short survey on the number of additional activities they provide in relation to dispensing prescriptions, such as medicines delivery or the provision of medicines dosage systems.

 

The second activity is a data collection on ‘advice on self care or OTC medicines’ over a seven-day period (from Wednesday 1st June to Tuesday 7th June). This research aims to record the number of times pharmacies provide advice on self care or on the use of OTC medicines.

HDA Media And Political Bulletin – 20 May 2016

From Factory to Pharmacy

As part of our mission to build awareness, understanding and appreciation of the vital importance of the healthcare distribution sector, we developed an infographic explaining the availability of medicines. It identifies the factors that can impact drug supply, as well as the measures that HDA members undertake day in, day out to help mitigate the risks of patients not receiving their medicines.

See the Infographic

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