News

HDA UK Media and Political Bulletin – 2 July 2021

Media Summary

Brexit: Some medicines could be withdrawn over NI Protocol complications
BBC News, John Campbell, 2 July 2021

BBC News reports that some drugs companies intend to stop supplying some medicines to Northern Ireland next year when the Northern Ireland protocol grace period ends.

Under the protocol Northern Ireland is still in the EU’s pharmaceutical regulatory system while the rest of the UK is not.

Northern Ireland gets most of its medicines from distributors in Great Britain, which is expected to become more difficult in January.

The EU said it had identified a “creative solution” to the problem which will “ensure the continued long-term supply of medicines from Great Britain to Northern Ireland”.

A drugs company must give six months’ warning if it intends to withdraw a product. Northern Ireland Chief Pharmaceutical Officer Cathy Harrison said that a “relatively small” number of products had now been notified for withdrawal.

When the grace period ends, pharmaceutical products entering Northern Ireland from Great Britain are due to have new regulatory requirements, such as labelling, which will make the supply of those products more complicated and potentially more expensive.

PDA urges Javid to ‘put pharmacists’ knowledge to better use’
Pharmacy Business, Shilpasharma, 1 July 2021

Pharmacy Business reports that the Pharmacists’ Defence Association (PDA) has urged the UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid to put pharmacists’ knowledge to better use to ensure proper utilisation of public funds and reduce hospitalisation.

In a letter addressed to Javid, PDA Chairman Mark Koziol, said, “…we believe that better use of pharmacists’ knowledge to support patients on how to use their medicines properly can not only ensure the best use of public funds, but also improve outcomes and prevent avoidable hospital admissions.”

He said that up to 8.5 per cent of hospital beds can be made available, if pharmacists could advise patients on medication.

In the letter, Koziol highlighted flaws in the system saying the Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework was still based upon the volume of items dispensed in pharmacy.

He said that the NHS spends around £16 billion a year on medicines, yet it is estimated that up to 50 per cent of this remain unused.

Better use of pharmacists who work in the community and primary care sectors could release pressure on the secondary care. Many of the prescribing pharmacists have recently been employed in GP practices to fill the workforce shortage.

Community pharmacy has been on the NHS frontline throughout the pandemic, when visits to community pharmacy for healthcare increased by nearly 40 per cent.

 

 Parliamentary Coverage

There was no parliamentary coverage today.

 

Full Coverage

Brexit: Some medicines could be withdrawn over NI Protocol complications
BBC News, John Campbell, 2 July 2021

Some drugs companies have said they intend to stop supplying some medicines to Northern Ireland next year when a NI Protocol grace period ends.

The protocol means Northern Ireland is still in the EU’s pharmaceutical regulatory system while GB is not.

Northern Ireland gets most of its medicines from distributors in Great Britain, but that is due to become more difficult in January.

The EU said it had identified a “creative solution” to the problem.

It said this will “ensure the continued long-term supply of medicines from Great Britain to Northern Ireland”.

If a drugs company is intending to withdraw a product it must give six months warning.

Northern Ireland’s chief pharmaceutical officer told a Stormont committee that a “relatively small” number of products had now been notified for withdrawal.

Cathy Harrison said she could not give further details for reasons of commercial sensitivity.

She said that in the coming weeks officials would assess the affect of the withdrawal of each product.

Medicine supply chains into NI a ‘high risk area’

Medicine supply chains to change post Brexit

Some products may have alternatives which are already on the market.

Ms Harrison said the six-month notice period would also allow time for contingency measures to be put in place.

She added that she did not want anyone to worry about the continuity of their treatment.

When the grace period ends, pharmaceutical products entering Northern Ireland from Great Britain are due to have new regulatory requirements, such as labelling.

That will make the supply of those products more complicated and potentially more expensive.

‘Creative solution to long-term supply’

Ms Harrison said both the UK government and the EU had made “huge efforts” to understand the issues.

The European Commission said its solution involves the EU changing its own rules so that regulatory compliance functions for medicines authorised by the UK for the Northern Ireland market may be located in Great Britain.

The Commission will put forward a legislative proposal in the early autumn in order to be able to finish the legislative process on time.

The UK government is currently assessing that proposal.

PDA urges Javid to ‘put pharmacists’ knowledge to better use’
Pharmacy Business, Shilpasharma, 1 July 2021

The Pharmacists’ Defence Association (PDA) has urged the UK’s newly-appointed health secretary Sajid Javid to put pharmacists’ knowledge to better use to ensure proper utilisation of public funds and reduce hospitalisation.

In a letter addressed to Javid, PDA chairman Mark Koziol, said, “…we believe that better use of pharmacists’ knowledge to support patients on how to use their medicines properly can not only ensure the best use of public funds, but also improve outcomes and prevent avoidable hospital admissions.”

Up to 8.5 per cent of hospital beds can be made available, if pharmacists could advise patients on medication, he said. These beds are mostly occupied by patients who have been harmed by the effects of medicines.

In the letter, Koziol highlighted flaws in the system saying the Community Pharmacy contractual Framework was still based upon the volume of items dispensed in pharmacy.

The NHS spends around £16 billion a year on medicines, yet it is estimated that up to 50 per cent of this remain unused, he said.

Citing example from the NHS Long Term Plan, Koziol stated that “90 per cent of NHS spend on asthma goes on medicines, but incorrect use of medication can also contribute to poorer health outcomes and increased risk of exacerbations, or even admission”.

Better use of pharmacists who work in the community and primary care sectors could release pressure on the secondary care. This would enable better management of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Many of the prescribing pharmacists have recently been employed in GP practices to fill the workforce shortage.

“We believe that patients and the NHS could benefit even more if they were deployed instead, to manage the decisions around the prescribing and use of medicines, which after all is the unique training and expertise that pharmacists can bring,” Koziol said.

He further said that community pharmacy has been on the NHS frontline throughout the pandemic.

Visits to community pharmacy for healthcare reasons increased by nearly 40 per cent during the period.

PDA also raised the matter about the pending pay review of its members who are directly employed by the NHS.

“…we hope this is something you will bring to a fair and appropriate resolution,” Koziol said in the letter.

HDA UK Media and Political Bulletin – 2 July 2021

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

Apply to become a Member

Membership of the HDA guarantees your organisation:

  • Access to leading policy and industry forums of debate and discussion
  • Invitations to a range of networking industry events organised through the year, including an Annual Conference and a Business Day
  • Representation on HDA working parties, including the Members’ Liaison Group
  • A daily Political and Media Bulletin and HDA Newsletters
  • Access to HDA policy documents and all sections of the HDA website
  • Branding and marketing opportunities
Apply Now

Already a Member?