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HDA Media And Political Bulletin – 25 May 2016

PSNC responds to “Community pharmacy in 2016/17 and beyond” letter

24 May 2016, PSNC

 

PSNC responded yesterday to the UK Government’s letter from 17th December 2015 on Community pharmacy in 2016/17 and beyond. In this response, the pharmacy body argues that the proposals outlined in the letter are a major threat to the future availability of accessible healthcare, support and advice from community pharmacies. It is also concerned that there has been a lack of analysis of the consequences and costs of these policies for the public.  In its response, PSNC acknowledges that:

  • A reduced network of pharmacies would increase the difficulty of managing emergency supplies of medicines
  • There should be a careful assessment of the potential of the Hub and Spoke model to weaken the controls in place today to protect the supply chain of medicines from threats such as counterfeits

 

The full response is available here.

 

PSNC to launch second prescription analysis tool

24 May 2016, P3 Pharmacy

 

P3 Pharmacy reports that PSNC has launched a complimentary tool which allows pharmacies to interpret their Px prescription item report in a user-friendly way. This tool aims to help contractors understand their dispensing patterns in detail and has the potential to help highlight discrepancies. In addition, there is potential to help pharmacies with stock management and identifying generics dispensed as brands.

 

The launch of the new tool was also reported by Pharmacy Biz.

 

Brexit would delay patients’ access to drugs, regulators warn

24 May 2016, pharmaphorum, Richard Staines

 

According to GSK’s president of R&D, Patrick Vallance, splitting the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) from the European regulator, EMA, if Britain were to leave the EU, would mean delays getting drugs to market. The EMA, currently located in London, would have to move and the MHRA would have to grow in order to take on regulatory work currently performed by the EMA.

 

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Full Coverage

PSNC responds to “Community pharmacy in 2016/17 and beyond” letter

24 May 2016, PSNC

 

PSNC has today published its response to the Government’s letter from 17th December 2015 entitled “Community pharmacy in 2016/17 and beyond”.

 

Within the response, PSNC makes clear that the proposals contained in the letter represent a major threat to the future availability of accessible healthcare, support and advice from community pharmacies. We are concerned that this threat has not been made clear to the public nor to their representatives, and that the policies underpinning the letter have not been based on analysis of the likely consequences or costs to the public as patients, members of our communities, or taxpayers.

 

The response also highlights that whilst PSNC is willing and keen to work collaboratively to achieve change, proper, informed negotiations between the Government and PSNC have been made impossible by the lack of clarity, detail or analysis of the issues raised by the letter.

 

PSNC’s response sets out the following key principles:

  • The interests of patients and patient care must underpin proposals;
  • Policies must be well-informed, using NHS resources effectively;
  • The ability of community pharmacy to offer much more to our communities has been largely neglected by policy makers. To meet the future health of our communities this must be properly addressed with urgency;
  • Remote supply and the benefits of automation are untested;
  • The interests of patient care must influence decisions about future pharmacy numbers and locations;
  • The NHS can make savings and improve patient care by developing patient services from pharmacies; and
  • The government must be honest, open and fair in implementing a major change of policy on community pharmacy.

 

PSNC to launch second prescription analysis tool

24 May 2016, P3 Pharmacy

 

PSNC has developed a new system, CheckRx, which allows pharmacies to interpret their Px prescription item report in a user-friendly way. While the report from the NHS Business Services Authority includes detailed information about the dispensed items that a contractor has been paid for, it has over 70 columns and a volume of data is difficult to manipulate, said pharmacist Patrick Grice, who helped develop the programme for PSNC.

 

CheckRx is a complementary tool to Check34, the programme launched last year that allows contractors to monitor monthly prescription payments from the monthly FP34.

 

CheckRx “turns the data into something more manageable,” said PSNC. Using the tool can help contractors understand their dispensing patterns in detail and has the potential to help highlight discrepancies, incorrect endorsement for example, by comparing with the FP34.

 

Users can recreate the FP34 through PRISM, view the top 20 products, focus on EPS scripts, Category M payments, expensive items, select particular categories or products and compare item numbers with local competitors.

 

“If you dispense a high proportion of Category M products, you may want to focus on how you buy these products,” suggested Mr Grice. The analysis can help pharmacies identify generics dispensed as brands, he said. It can also help with stock management.

 

The CheckRx programme, which has the same login for registered contractors as Check 34, will be offered for a separate fee of £144 per year when it goes live in June. The National Pharmacy Association says it is in discussions with PSNC about making CheckRx available to independents.

 

The system gives independent pharmacies “the same data processing capability as large head offices,” suggested Mr Grice. With Category M clawback underway, this is an additional tool to help communities pharmacies manage any financial fluctuations.

 

Brexit would delay patients’ access to drugs, regulators warn

24 May 2016, pharmaphorum, Richard Staines

 

Regulators and pharma have warned again that a “Brexit” would have dire consequences for the industry, delaying drug approvals in the UK and starving its regulator of cash.

 

The senior figures made their comments shortly before a poll by ORB showed the Remain campaign has a 13-point lead over the Leave campaign.

 

According to press reports, GlaxoSmithKline’s president of pharma R&D, Patrick Vallance, said splitting the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) from the European regulator would mean delays getting drugs to market.

 

The MHRA, which officially does not have a viewpoint on Brexit, has a close relationship with the European Medicines Agency and both regulators are based in London.

 

Vallance noted at a press conference in London that the Swiss regulator takes 157 days longer on average to approve drugs and Canada 140 days longer.

 

Sir Mike Rawlins, chairman of the UK Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said at the conference he was “hoping and praying” that Britain would remain in the EU.

 

According to the Guardian, Rawlins said: “There is no question about it, if we were to leave the European Union, the EMA would go.”

 

He added that the MHRA would have to grow in order to take on regulatory work currently performed by the EMA. “Not only that, but I don’t know how it would be paid for,” he added.

 

MHRA board member Vincent Lawton told pharmaphorum earlier this month that the regulator would lose £12-15 million in annual funding from Europe in the event of a Brexit.

 

Rawlins added Brexit would mean Britain would be unable to access rapid alerts warning of dangers in drugs and healthcare devices.

 

The Daily Telegraph reported that Professor Bruce Campbell, non-executive director at the MHRA, said there are around “half a million” medical devices that will need to be regulated.

 

At the moment this work is covered by the EMA’s system of licensing and surveillance.

He said the UK would have difficulty dealing with the “sheer number” of such devices.

 

Campbell said: “If things went well we could continue to collaborate with other agencies but I think doing everything to do with medical devices alone would be very difficult.”

HDA Media And Political Bulletin – 25 May 2016

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