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HDA UK Media And Political Bulletin – 20 January 2017

Media Summary

NICE ‘pauses’ plans to introduce charges for pharma

Pharmaphorum, Andrew McConaghie, 19 January 2017

Proposals by NICE to charge pharma companies for appraising their medicines are to be paused while the government completes its life sciences strategy. Significant sums were going to be introduced by the NHS cost-effectiveness watchdog from April this year, but the pause is welcomed by many in the industry. The UK pharma industry hopes that the government will respond to demands to review NICE methods, alongside putting together a Life Sciences Strategy – a new overarching plan for the sector which Theresa May’s government hopes will boost the industry, and secure confidence in a post-Brexit UK.

The Community Pharmacy Forward View: ‘Making it Happen’

Pharmacy Voice, 19 January 2017

Pharmacy Voice and the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee, with the support of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, have launched the next phase of the Community Pharmacy Forward View (CPFV) project, with a new website and a report outlining an implementation framework for delivering the CPFV vision. Within this, proactivity is pivotal. They are inviting feedback from community pharmacy leaders, frontline teams and their local partners on implementation pathways for each of the three future roles for community pharmacy that are described in the CPFV. The initiative runs alongside national pharmacy organisations’ drive to improve community pharmacy.

To deliver the Community Pharmacy Forward View, and to secure an integrated health and care system, it is deemed necessary to:

  • Raise awareness of community pharmacy services with the public, and strengthen relationships with service users
  • Support local leaders to build partnerships with colleagues across the health and care system
  • Harness technology and secure digital integration
  • Empower the workforce to develop their skills, manage change and work effectively within new structures, cultures and systems
  • Establish new ways of working and delivering integrated care, supported through appropriate funding and contracting mechanisms

Proactively support and facilitate sector-development and change management.

Parliamentary Coverage

House of Commons, Oral Answers, 19 January 2017

Pharmacy: Funding

Diana Johnson (Kingston upon Hull North) (Lab)

I am sure that the Leader of the House will agree that community pharmacies are a very important part of taking the pressure off over-stretched A&Es at the moment, despite them seeing cuts to their funding just last month. The Government have introduced a pharmacy access scheme to help deal with some of the cuts in communities. I was really surprised to see that, in the Prime Minister’s constituency, 37% of pharmacies will be able to apply for that additional funding. In the three Hull constituencies, only 1% of pharmacies will be able to apply. May we please have a debate about why the most disadvantaged communities still suffer the biggest cuts from this Government?

Mr Lidington

I clearly do not know the details of the situation in Hull, but I am happy to ask the relevant Health Minister—I think it is my hon. Friend the Member for Warrington South (David Mowat)—to write to the hon. Lady. The principle is that there are now 15% more pharmacies than there were just a decade ago, two fifths of pharmacies are within 10 minutes’ walk of two or more other pharmacies, the average pharmacy receives roughly £220,000 a year in NHS funding and, even after the recently announced changes, the community pharmacy budget will be 30% more than it was a decade ago, so I think that the Government have demonstrated that they remain committed to community pharmacies and their importance.

A full transcript can be found here.

Full Coverage

NICE ‘pauses’ plans to introduce charges for pharma

Pharmaphorum, Andrew McConaghie, 19 January 2017

Plans by NICE to start charging pharma companies for appraising their medicines are to be ‘paused’ in order to allow the government to complete its life sciences strategy.

The NHS cost effectiveness watchdog had planned to introduce hefty new charges to the pharmaceutical industry from April this year, but announced the pause earlier this week.

The proposal was for each single technology appraisal (TA) and highly specialised technology appraisal (HSTA) to come with a mandatory fee of £142,000, rising to £282,000 for a ‘complex’ multiple technology appraisal.

The new charges are necessary because NICE has seen its workload rise and its budget squeezed over the last few years, and it was advised by the government to consider the charges. While the charges are well within the means of large pharma companies, the industry objected to the introduction of fees without a wider consultation about NICE and its processes.

Breaking the news that NICE would proceed with the charges last August, pharmaphorum spoke to Paul Catchpole, director of value and access at industry association the ABPI.

He said at the time that NICE needed to evolve further in order to be the ‘fit for the future’.

“The ABPI’s position is that industry is keen to see NICE and some of its methods evolve. Once that has taken place we’d be happy for fees for service, potentially.”

The government and NICE now appears to have listened to these objections, and NICE’s chief executive Sir Andrew Dillon has confirmed the pause in implementing the charges.

“We have been working to create a new funding model for technology evaluation to meet the government’s challenge to drive efficiency and deliver better value,” said Dillon.

“We’ve agreed with the Department of Health to wait for the Government’s life sciences strategy to be completed before we move forward with our plans.”

Dillon added that NICE would continue to test its existing proposal against the suggestions and challenges made in consultation responses received.

Life Sciences Strategy

The pause is to allow the government to put together a Life Sciences Strategy – a new overarching plan for the sector which Theresa May’s government hopes will boost the industry, and secure confidence in a post-Brexit UK.

Reform of NICE and its methodology – its QALY cost effectiveness thresholds in particular – has been at the top of pharma’ swish list for some time, but until now the government has made it more or less out of bounds.

The UK pharma industry will hope that it the government will listen to demands for a root-and-branch review of NICE methods, which could help innovative new medicines gain faster uptake on the NHS.

Business minister Lord Prior told pharmaphorum in December that a life sciences industrial strategy would be ready by spring 2017. This tight timetable won’t be enough for a comprehensive plan, but could produce some high-level pledges to boost the sector.

However a burgeoning crisis in the NHS, caused by growing demand and static funding , is directly affecting pharma. NICE and NHS England are planning to introduce a new budget impact threshold of £20 million, which could see new restrictions on many cancer, specialised and rare disease drugs.

This could easily undermine gains made elsewhere, and the UK biotech association the BIA and the ABPI have made their opposition to the changes clear this week.

 

The Community Pharmacy Forward View: ‘Making it Happen’

Pharmacy Voice, 19 January 2017

Pharmacy Voice and PSNC, with the support of the RPS, have today launched the next phase of the Community Pharmacy Forward View (CPFV) project, with a new website and report outlining an implementation framework for delivering the CPFV vision. 

The bodies are inviting feedback from community pharmacy leaders, frontline teams and their local partners on implementation pathways for each of the three future roles for community pharmacy that are described in the CPFV.  They are also calling on national NHS leaders and the Government to commit to working with the sector to develop and implement the CPFV plan.

In August 2016 the national community pharmacy bodies published the Community Pharmacy Forward View as their shared vision for the future of the community pharmacy network.  Many of the ideas set out in this sector-led vision were reflected and reinforced in the recommendations of the recently published Independent Review of Community Pharmacy Clinical Services (the Murray Review).

In ‘Making it Happen’ the national pharmacy organisations take the next step toward turning both the Community Pharmacy Forward View vision and the Murray Review recommendations into reality, by setting out pathways for the policy change, professional development and partnership working required to enable community pharmacy to play its full role within an integrated health and care system.

To deliver the Community Pharmacy Forward View, we need to:

  • Raise awareness of community pharmacy services with the public, and strengthen relationships with service users
  • Support local leaders to build partnerships with colleagues across the health and care system
  • Harness technology and secure digital integration
  • Empower the workforce to develop their skills, manage change and work effectively within new structures, cultures and systems
  • Establish new ways of working and delivering integrated care, supported through appropriate funding and contracting mechanisms
  • Proactively support and facilitate sector-development and change management

Over the past year, the community pharmacy sector has repeatedly called for a different type of dialogue with the Department of Health and NHS England; a partnership approach to implementing change that is based on a shared vision for the future, and builds from the existing strengths and value of the community pharmacy network. In publishing the Community Pharmacy Forward View, community pharmacy sector leaders showed that they have ambition and vision.  The framework in this outline version is being published in order to test the concept, and get the dialogue going on how we implement the Community Pharmacy Forward View. A vision and framework have now been set to guide the decisions and actions of stakeholders in the process of realising it.

We have the starting point for a different conversation about community pharmacy in 2017/18 and beyond; about how we can truly put community pharmacy at the heart of an efficient, effective and thriving NHS.  Feedback can be given via the newly launched CPFV micro site which explains the Community Pharmacy Forward View and the implementation framework in more detail, as well as showcasing pharmacy organisations who are pioneering new ways of working.

Commenting on this launch, Pharmacy Voice Director of Policy, Elizabeth Wade, said: “The Community Pharmacy Forward View vision has been well received by community pharmacy leaders, patient groups and politicians, as well as by colleagues in the NHS, local and national Government.  The recently launched Murray review supported the vision’s central idea of community pharmacy having an expanded role in the delivery of clinical and public health services and for genuine involvement of community pharmacy leaders in initiatives such as STPs. The launch of ‘Making it Happen’ shows that the sector not only has this broad ambition and vision, we also have a plan.  Working with colleagues across the community pharmacy network, and based on feedback on the initial vision document, we have been developing an outline implementation framework to start turning that vision into reality. Achieving this will require coordinated effort from leaders within the community pharmacy sector, local and national commissioners, health and care partners, the Government and national NHS bodies and other stakeholders.

This has been a difficult year for community pharmacy. With this plan we now have the starting point for a different conversation about community pharmacy in 2016/17 and beyond; about how we can truly put community pharmacy at the heart of an efficient, effective and thriving NHS.  We hope the Government and NHS will accept our invitation to join it. “

Read the full ‘Making it Happen’ report here.

HDA UK Media And Political Bulletin – 20 January 2017

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

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