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HDA UK Media And Political Bulletin – 5 January 2017

Sue Sharpe: Why 2017 will be a ‘testing’ year

Chemist and Druggist, Thomas Cox, 4 January 2017

 

Sue Sharpe, PSNC Chief Executive, discusses the “difficult challenges” the pharmacy sector will face in 2017. In her New Year address on January 3rd, she said “We are working in an increasingly hostile environment and the financial stringencies biting across the whole of the public sector will continue for several years”. Sue Sharpe also recognised the efforts already made by the sector since funding cuts were announced in December 2015.

 

Brexit could disrupt EU drug approvals – EMA chief

Pharmaphorum, Richard Staines, 4 January 2017

 

Pharmaphorum further reports on the head of the European Medicines Agency’s warning that Brexit could disrupt the drug approval process across Europe, with knock-on effects for the wider industry. Speaking to the Financial Times, Guido Rasi explained that Brexit had already resulted in disruptions for the agency with seven senior executive members quitting since the vote in June. Due to the complex structure of the organisation, the EMA would require “the longest possible time” to manage a relocation.

 

Return on investment falls for pharmaceutical industry

The Pharmaceutical Journal, 4 January 2017

 

An industry analysis published by Deloitte found that return on investment in drug R&D achieved by the pharmaceutical industry fell to 3.7% in 2016. This figure is the lowest in six years. In the context of acute public scrutiny on drug prices, this report raises questions about productivity and returns on innovation.

 

ABPI launches new film and suite of resources about the value of the UK pharmaceutical industry

ABPI, 4 January 2017

 

The ABPI launched a new film to showcase the history and value of the UK pharmaceutical industry. Alongside the launch of the film, up-to-date online resources aimed at providing a comprehensive overview of the UK are available. With over 120 slides divided in 5 chapters, the online content demonstrates the value of medicines and vaccines and the pharmaceutical industry’s worth to the UK economy.

 

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Brexit could disrupt EU drug approvals – EMA chief

Pharmaphorum, Richard Staines, 4 January 2017

 

Brexit could disrupt the approval of drugs across all of Europe, with a knock-on effect on industry, the head of the European Medicines Agency has warned.

 

In an interview with the Financial Times, Guido Rasi, executive director of the European Medicines Agency said Brexit is already causing disruption at the London-based agency, with seven senior executive members quitting following the UK’s vote to leave the EU last June.

 

But the decision to quit the EU could have even wider ramifications in the event of a “hard Brexit” style decision. This would guarantee that the EMA would have to relocate away from London, and the disruption could affect the running of the agency.

 

A poll conducted in early December by pharmaphorum of 11 UK pharma industry leaders (including six UK general managers) found most (seven, 64%) feared that Brexit would cause “long term damage to the UK pharmaceutical industry”.

 

This damage would not just be limited to the UK.

 

Rasi said that running the EMA is like an “assembly line”, with complex logistics organising meetings, which is why it would need “the longest possible time” to organise any move.

 

It would take at least two years to move the agency away from London, said Rasi, to ensure recent improvements in approval times to not stall, or move into reverse.

 

This could make Europe less attractive to pharma and biotech countries considering investing in the region, said Rasi.

 

“If we are losing expertise we have to focus on managerial things, HR issues, of course our capacity and commitment to provide additional support to this community would be decreased, and that would make a fragmented Europe in terms of pricing and enforcement. We will give the opposite of being competitive.”

 

A staff survey presented to the agency’s board last week showed about 50% would leave if the EMA moves to an undesirable city.

 

Rasi added that morale is becoming “worse and worse” at the agency had been affected by the political uncertainty, and there is a lack of candidates in selection procedures.

 

His comments echoed views expressed by senior figures at the agency’s annual review of the year meeting, held last month in conjunction with TOPRA.

 

The figures expressed frustration that they felt like passengers while politicians decide the future and location of the EMA.

 

The EMA employs almost 900 people – but also faces a large loss of capacity in the event of a move.

 

Rasi noted that the UK Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency approves around a fifth of all drugs in the EU.

 

The UK’s pharma industry is lobbying to keep the UK within the European regulatory system after Brexit – and Rasi warned that severing the MHRA from the EU’s network would present huge challenges.

 

Rasi warned that a hard Brexit would require the creation of a standalone UK regulator, and would be a huge undertaking.

 

“I assume if we are going to lose the 20% [of capacity], it means they [the MHRA] are going to lose the 80%,” said Rasi.

 

Return on investment falls for pharmaceutical industry

The Pharmaceutical Journal, 4 January 2017

 

The return on investment in drug research and development (R&D) being achieved by the pharmaceutical industry fell to 3.7% in 2016 — the lowest figure in the past six years, according to an industry analysis published by Deloitte.

 

The analysis found that projected peak sales per new product have fallen by 11.4% year on year since 2010 to reach an average US$394m.

 

The findings, published in Deloitte’s report ‘Measuring the return from pharmaceutical innovation 2016: Balancing the R&D equation’, are based on its 2016 analysis of the R&D spend by the global top 12 research-based life science companies: Amgen, AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Eli Lilly, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Merck & Co, Novartis, Pfizer, Roche, Sanofi and Takeda.

 

The companies have launched 233 products over the past six years and developed another 376 products to reach late stage pipelines, with a total sales forecast of US$1,697bn, the report reveals.

 

During 2016, the costs of bringing a new drug from discovery to launch have stabilised — from US$1,576m in 2015 to US$1,539m in 2016 — but peak sales per product have continued to fall.

 

Colin Terry, consulting partner for European life sciences R&D at Deloitte, says the continuing fall in projected return is a “real issue” for the global industry: “As costs per product remain high, sales projections decline, and given it now takes the industry over 14 years to launch a drug, real questions should be raised about productivity and returns on innovation.”

 

He says drug price is the “most publicised challenge, with political and public scrutiny on the topic intensifying”.

 

“The majority of companies are struggling to achieve historical peak sales despite continuing to launch many new products. They are also increasingly looking for returns from treatments in smaller patient groups.”

 

ABPI launches new film and suite of resources about the value of the UK pharmaceutical industry

ABPI, 4 January 2017

 

The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) has launched a new film and an accompanying suite of up-to-date online resources aimed at providing a comprehensive overview of the UK pharmaceutical industry.

 

A short film – ‘Only Just Begun’ (available at https://youtu.be/8KzjP37Fv2A), produced in association with Artemis Films, celebrates the history of the UK pharmaceutical industry in changing the lives of patients, and the people involved in its past, present and future. It uses original footage and archive footage made available by ABPI members AstraZeneca, GSK, Novo Nordisk and Pfizer.

 

The new online content (available at http://www.slideshare.net/ABPI_UK/an-update-on-the-uk-research-based-pha…) features over 120 slides (split into chapters) that demonstrate the value of medicines and vaccines, the pharmaceutical sector’s worth to the UK economy, and the strides the sector has made to improve patient and health outcomes.

 

​Introduction: An update on the UK research-based pharmaceutical industry

  • Chapter 1: Medicines and vaccines
  • Chapter 2: Trailblazing science
  • Chapter 3: Putting patients first
  • Chapter 4: Letting innovation flourish
  • Chapter 5: The future
  • Case study examples from industry

 

Aileen Thompson, ABPI Executive Director of Communications, said:

 

“Medicines and vaccines help us live longer, better lives and offer one of the greatest hopes we have for the future of human health. These new resources tell the story of what we do and why, and we hope they will inspire others to find out more about the life-changing discoveries, vaccines and medicines which our members deliver.”

HDA UK Media And Political Bulletin – 5 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.

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