HDA UK Media And Political Bulletin – 2 December 2016

PSNC seeks Judicial Review of consultation on community pharmacy

PSNC, 1 December 2016


PSNC is seeking a Judicial Review of the Secretary of State’s October decision to implement cuts to community pharmacy funding and other changes.


PSNC has sought permission from the High Court to apply for the Judicial Review on the grounds that it believes the Secretary of State failed to carry out a lawful consultation on the proposals for community pharmacy.


An ‘expedited hearing’ has been requested, so that if permission to seek Judicial Review is granted, the hearing will take place as soon as practicable.


PSNC accepts the need for the NHS to achieve efficiencies within the community pharmacy sector and is not challenging this principle, but it does not believe that the consultation process on the proposals that are now being implemented complied with the requirements of a lawful consultation.


PSNC believes that the Department of Health (DH) has used poor data which it did not disclose as a basis for its decision, rather than updating existing high quality data.


PSNC’s application raises a number of concerns about the consultation, including:


  • The DH’s failure to disclose the fact that it had carried out an analysis of pharmacies’ profitability based on Companies House data as part of its Impact Assessment.
  • The delay in providing this analysis to PSNC after the publication of the Impact Assessment.
  • The validity of the DH analysis including the sample size and the use of accounting returns, rather than economic returns, as the basis for the assessment of pharmacies’ economic viability and how they might be affected by the changes.
  • The DH’s failure to analyse what the levels of pharmacy closures may be.


PSNC has been taking legal and other expert advice since the letter of December 17th 2015 and in recent weeks working closely with other pharmacy organisations also exploring legal options. The National Pharmacy Association is named as an interested party in PSNC’s application.


PSNC Chief Executive Sue Sharpe said:


“PSNC’s role is to represent community pharmacy contractors. We have always sought to do this by working positively with the NHS to ensure that community pharmacies can do their best to meet the needs of the NHS, patients and local communities, and that the NHS recognises and acknowledges the value they provide.


PSNC has spent the past twelve months trying to work constructively with the Department of Health and NHS England to enable community pharmacy to help the NHS to meet the increasing challenges that it faces. We have sought to avoid taking legal action and very much regret that the process the NHS has followed has made this impossible.”


ABPI gives evidence to Exiting the EU Commons Select Committee on Brexit priorities

ABPI, 2 December 2016


Dr Virginia Acha, ABPI’s Executive Director of Research, Medical and Innovation has told MPs on the Exiting the European Union (EU) Committee that for the UK pharmaceutical industry a primary objective for Government in Brexit negotiations should be to secure alignment and cooperation with EU medicines regulation.


​​The UK is currently part of the European Medicines Agency (EMA), a network that facilitates the harmonisation of medicines regulation for more than 25% of global pharmaceutical market and over 500m patients. This includes EU member states, and non-EU members of the European Economic Area (EEA), Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.


Robust and internationally aligned medicines regulation, has been essential for protecting and improving the health of patients, has ensured effectiveness and safety, and has brought forward advances in medical innovation to large patient populations in a way that minimises delays and cost.


The UK having an aligned framework in place for medicines regulation ‘from day one’ of leaving the EU would be important for maintaining drugs availability and supply.


Dr Acha also told the Committee that recently announced Government funding for science and innovation was extremely welcome. In order for this to be maximised, enabling UK researchers and academics to continue global collaboration should be a goal of Brexit negotiations. In line with other leading UK business sectors, she also highlighted that maintaining the ability to trade and move goods and capital across borders, and prioritising ease of movement of global talent for high-value industries, are important for pharmaceutical companies in the UK.​


Mike Thompson, ABPI’s Chief Executive commented:


“As we lay the foundations for leaving the European Union, last week’s Autumn Statement sent a clear message that a productive high-wage, high-skill economy of the future can be built through investing in UK science and innovation.


To make this a reality, maintaining the strength of the UK’s pharmaceutical industry should be a Brexit priority.


Government has indicated that they are looking to achieve a bespoke Brexit deal for Britain. As part of this, there are several options for the regulation of medicines. This critical area has a significant impact on the pharmaceutical industry, and we are working with Government to outline the mutual benefit in striking a deal for the benefit of patients in the UK and patients across Europe.


UK alignment and cooperation with the EU framework for medicines regulation can be a common goal for our Government and for member states, and should be a priority objective in Brexit negotiations.”


​Find out more about our work on what Brexit means for the pharmaceutical industry and our work with Government to maintain and grow of a world-leading Life Sciences environment in the UK outside of the EU.

HDA UK Media And Political Bulletin – 2 December 2016

From Factory to Pharmacy

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