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HDA UK Media And Political Bulletin – 15 January 2018

Media and Political Bulletin

15 January 2018

Media Summary

Exclusive: Chemists running low on flu jabs amid fears of epidemic as France offers to treat British patientsThe Telegraph, Henry Bodkin and Tony Diver, 12 January 2018

 

The Financial Times reports that chemists were running low on supplies of the flu vaccine yesterday amid growing fears of an epidemic if the virus continues to spread at its current rate.

People across the country were being turned away from high street pharmacies who said they had run out of stock, the publication continues. After reports of a shortage in Cumbria, the Daily Telegraph contacted branches of Boots across the Midlands, East of England, the South and South West, but all 10 branches had no jabs left. Last night Boots UK said the shops would be resupplied today. This came as a hospital in Calais offered to treat British patients denied NHS operations as a result of the winter crisis, despite a flu epidemic in France.

The article refers to the role of wholesalers in supplying flu vaccines, including their influence on pricing.

 

This story was also reported by The Daily MailSky News and The Sun.

 

Pharma firms told they face 50% hike in fees if they are late to sign up to the FMD European Medicines Verification SystemThe Pharmaceutical Journal, 12 January 2018

 

The Pharmaceutical Journal highlights that, with just over one year to go until the Falsified Medicines Directive (FMD) goes live across Europe, the European Medicines Verification Organisation (EMVO) is urging pharmaceutical companies to get connected to the European Medicines Verification System (EMVS).

A reminder issued by the EMVS on 8 January 2018 to on-boarding partners (OBPs) — bodies that represent marketing authorisation holders (MAHs) — tells those who have not started the connection process by 15 January 2018 that they will be subject to a 50% increase to their on-boarding fee. For OBPs with more than 12 MAHs, this represents a rise from €20,000 to €30,000.

From 15 June 2018, a further 50% increase to on-boarding fees will apply.

 

Parliamentary Coverage

 

There is no parliamentary coverage today.

 

Full Coverage

 

 

Exclusive: Chemists running low on flu jabs amid fears of epidemic as France offers to treat British patientsThe Telegraph, Henry Bodkin and Tony Diver, 12 January 2018

 

Chemists were running low on supplies of the flu vaccine yesterday amid growing fears of an epidemic if the virus continues to spread at its current rate.

People across the country were being turned from high street pharmacies who said they had run out of stock.

After reports of a shortage in Cumbria, the Daily Telegraph contacted branches of Boots across the Midlands, East of England, the South and South West, but all 10 branches had no jabs left. Last night Boots UK said the shops would today be resupplied.

Meanwhile patients in at least six areas reported that their local pharmacists had run out of stock and wholesalers were said to have increased prices as demand surged.

In parts of south London, young children who have not yet been vaccinated were urged to visit fire stations where emergency clinics are being established today.

It came as a hospital in Calais offered to treat British patients denied NHS operations as a result of the winter crisis, despite a flu epidemic in France.

The rush on flu vaccines came after official figures showed Britain is suffering the worst flu season for seven years, after a more virulent strain of the virus from Australia swept across Europe.

All pensioners and children under the age of nine, as well as people with chronic health problems are offered free flu jabs on the NHS.

However, most of the population have to pay around £13.

Rami Ghanim, a pharmacist in Barrow, Cumbria, said patients were flocking because of fears of “Aussie flu”

“I tried to order some more for some patients but they haven’t come in. I’ve tried a number of different suppliers who don’t look like they have many left,” he said.

The Government has emergency stockpiles of the vaccine which can be formally requested by pharmacists. The Department of Health would not say whether it had opened access to its Strategic Reserve.

Ministers are closely monitoring the spread of flu amid fears that the NHS will be thrown into crisis by another surge in cases.

The death toll has now reached 85, with 27 deaths last week.

Elderly people and children are being denied flu jabs as pharmacists across the country last night warned they had run out of the vaccine.

Patients in at least six areas reported trawling around multiple chemists in search of the jab amid fears Britain could be gripped by an epidemic by the end of the month.

This year’s flu outbreak, fuelled by a virulent Australian strain, is driving more patients than usual to seek vaccination after Christmas.

High street chemists said they had avoided overstocking the jab because they are only reimbursed by the NHS for vaccines that are used.

Last night the Government refused to say if front-line providers had applied to use its strategic reserve of flu vaccines.

It came as a hospital in Calais urged NHS patients who cannot get care in England to cross the channel for treatment.

Tens of thousands of non-urgent operations and routine outpatient appointments have been cancelled by British hospitals in the last week in a desperate bid to ease pressures on wards.

Even though flu in France has reached epidemic levels, Calais Hospital said it had enough spare capacity to carry out operations for British patients.

Labour last night seized on the offer as evidence that the Government had “lost control” of the crisis.

Health service data shows flu rates are continuing to rise, with one in five hospital cases suffering from the most deadly strain. The statistics show flu rates have doubled in the last fortnight.

The figures for England show rates of GP consultations about flu have risen from 18.9 per 100,000 people to 37.3 per 100,000 people in a fortnight.  If the trends continue, the country is on course to reach epidemic levels – of more than 109 cases per 100,000 people – within a month. Such rates have not been seen in England since the winter of 2010.

A spokesman for Boots UK said: “We’ve seen a very high level of demand in the recent week from people looking to protect themselves and their families against flu this winter and has meant some Boots stores temporarily ran out of stock for a limited time.

 At least four million people in England are suffering from flu, with victims losing their life including an 18-year old girl and a world war II spitfire pilot

At least four million people in England are suffering from flu, with victims losing their life including an 18-year old girl and a world war II spitfire pilot CREDIT: PA

“We have quickly replenished our supply chain and Flu vaccinations will be available tomorrow from Boots Pharmacies across the country.”

A Department for Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “Vaccines are the best protection we have against flu. As well as getting the jab from a pharmacy, patients can also book an appointment with their GP.

“We are in close contact with the vaccine manufacturers and we are confident there is sufficient vaccine availability.”

Pharma firms told they face 50% hike in fees if they are late to sign up to the FMD European Medicines Verification SystemThe Pharmaceutical Journal, 12 January 2018

Medicines regulation

Pharma firms told they face 50% hike in fees if they are late to sign up to the FMD European Medicines Verification System

The Pharmaceutical Journal12 JAN 2018

With just over one year to go until the Falsified Medicines Directive (FMD) goes live across Europe, the European Medicines Verification Organisation (EMVO) is urging pharmaceutical companies to get connected to the European Medicines Verification System (EMVS).

A reminder issued by the EMVS on 8 January 2018 to on-boarding partners (OBPs) — bodies that represent marketing authorisation holders (MAHs) — tells those who have not started the connection process by 15 January 2018 thay they will be subject to a 50% increase to their on-boarding fee. For OBPs with more than 12 MAHs, this represents a rise from €20,000 to €30,000.

From 15 June 2018, a further 50% increase to on-boarding fees will apply.

The impeding rise in on-boarding fees was first announced by the EMVO in December 2017. In that announcement, the body said that “an important shortage can be noticed with respect to the number of on-boarding partners going through the on-boarding process and getting connected to the EU hub… due to the small number of on-boarding partners EMVO counts at the moment, we will most probably be ending up in a bottleneck situation.

 

“In order to mitigate this risk and cover the increasing on-boarding costs EMVO decided to apply a stepwise rise in the on-boarding fee for late followers.”

 

The EMVS will form the heart of compliance to the FMD, which comes into force across the EU on 9 February 2019. The FMD requires every prescription medicine pack to feature a 2D barcode containing unique identification data.

 

The EMVS will be an EU-wide database of these unique identifiers, and MAHs are responsible for the upload of unique medicines identification data to the system.

 

Before a medicine pack can be given to a patient, the barcode must be read by a hand-held scanner connected to the EMVS via a national database to verify the medicine’s authenticity.

HDA UK Media And Political Bulletin – 15 January 2018

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