News

HDA UK Media and Political Bulletin – 19 April 2021

Media Summary

Brexit red tape threatens drugs supplies in Northern Ireland
Financial Times, Sarah Neville and Peter Foster, 19 April 2021  

The Financial Times reports that UK-based companies making non-branded drugs have started to withdraw medicines from Northern Ireland because they cannot afford the costs of new post-Brexit red tape.

The disruption in Northern Ireland follows the post-Brexit trade deal which came into force on 1st January 2021. The move threatens to limit the range of treatments available to patients in Northern Ireland from the end of the year and there is increasing pressure for the UK and Brussels to find a solution to the disruption in supply.

The article quotes Martin Sawer, who said “the extra regulatory and operational complications, associated with any segregation of medicine packs specifically for Northern Ireland, could affect the current distribution of medicines into Northern Ireland — the vast majority of which are currently supplied from Great Britain.”

This was also reported by The Telegraph.

Moderna Cuts U.K., Canada Shipments on Supply-Chain Woes
Bloomberg, Suzi Ring and Kait Bolongaro, 16 April 2021  

Bloomberg reports that the supply of the Moderna vaccine will be reduced this month, affecting supply to the UK, Canada and other countries. The reduced supply is due to a shortfall in doses in its European supply chain.

Moderna said in a statement on Friday: “The trajectory of vaccine manufacturing ramp-up is not linear, and despite best efforts, there is a shortfall in previously estimated doses.”

The UK has purchased 17 million doses of the Moderna shot, and shipments to Britain will be reduced starting this month. This announcement comes just days after the Moderna vaccine was rolled out in the UK and will affect the overall number of doses that were expected to be supplied to the UK by the end of June.

This was also reported by The Guardian.

 

Parliamentary Coverage

The NICE strategy 2021 to 2026
NICE, 19 April 2021  

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has set out its strategic plan and priorities for the next 5 years. The strategy takes into account the lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, which it notes has changed the UK health and care landscape significantly. In particular, the pandemic has highlighted the need to reduce health inequalities and bureaucracy and speed up access to the latest and most effective treatments.

The NICE strategic plan includes the following objectives:

  • Provide independent, world-leading assessments of value for the system and improved access for patients through the use of new and existing technologies.
  • Provide dynamic, living guideline recommendations that are useful, useable and rapidly updated, incorporating the latest evidence and newly recommended technologies to maximise uptake and access for patients.
  • Drive the implementation of guidance, making sure it delivers improvements and contributes to reducing inequalities, with measures to routinely track adoption.
  • Drive the research agenda and developing innovative and data-driven methods. It will use real-world data to resolve issues of uncertainty and improve access to new innovations for patients.
  • Transform the organisation to make sure it has the infrastructure, skills and capacity to deliver its strategy, leveraging technology to maximise efficiency and impact.

Full Coverage

Brexit red tape threatens drugs supplies in Northern Ireland
Financial Times, Sarah Neville and Peter Foster, 19 April 2021  

This article is subject to copyright terms and conditions. Please access full article here.

Moderna Cuts U.K., Canada Shipments on Supply-Chain Woes
Bloomberg, Suzi Ring and Kait Bolongaro, 16 April 2021  

Moderna Inc. said it will deliver less COVID-19 vaccine than planned to the U.K., Canada and other countries this quarter due to a shortfall in doses in its European supply chain.

Moderna, which is working with Swiss partner Lonza Group AG to make the shots in Europe, attributed the reduction in deliveries to a slower-than-expected ramp-up of production capacity. Moderna has its own plant in Massachusetts that is making supply for the U.S.

The reduced deliveries to other countries will further constrain global vaccine supplies, with shots from Johnson & Johnson on hold across much of the world due to concerns about a link to rare but dangerous blood clots, an issue that has also prompted restrictions on the use of AstraZeneca Plc’s vaccine in Europe.

“The trajectory of vaccine manufacturing ramp-up is not linear, and despite best efforts, there is a shortfall in previously estimated doses,” Moderna said in a statement Friday. “Vaccine manufacturing is a highly complex process and a number of elements, including human and material resources, have factored into this volatility.”

Shipments to the U.K. will be reduced starting this month, just days after the Moderna vaccine was rolled out in Britain, which will affect the overall number of doses that were expected to be supplied by the end of June.

The U.K.’s immunization program has been a bright spot in Britain’s response to the pandemic, with almost half the population now vaccinated with at least one dose. The pace looks set to slow over the coming weeks, though, after a shipment of the AstraZeneca vaccine from India was delayed, pushing the government to shift focus to delivering second doses.

The U.K. has purchased 17 million doses of the Moderna shot, the smallest contract in its vaccine portfolio.

The company has also told the Canadian government it will nearly halve its expected deliveries of COVID-19 vaccines this month as it struggles to contain a third wave of coronavirus cases, according to Procurement Minister Anita Anand.

Canada will now receive 650,000 doses by the end of April, instead of the originally planned 1.2 million. As many as 2 million more scheduled to arrive by the end of June will arrive by the end of September, Anand said via email.

Lonza did not immediately respond to phone and email messages seeking comment.

HDA UK Media and Political Bulletin – 19 April 2021

From Factory to Pharmacy

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