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HDA UK Media And Political Bulletin – 6 December 2017

Media and Political Bulletin

6 December 2017

HDA Executive Director, Martin Sawer on BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme

 

Yesterday morning Martin Sawer, HDA Executive Director, was interviewed on the Today Programme on the potential impact of Brexit on the regulation and supply of medicines. Martin discussed the need to mitigate any impact to the cross-border flow of medicines following the UK’s exit from the European Union which could place patient safety at risk. To listen to the full interview, please click here. The interview can be found 51 minutes into the programme.

 

Reminder: Registration for the GIRP UK conference 2018

This is a reminder to all members that the GIRP conference ‘Supply chain to value chain together adding value’ will take place at Oakley Court, Windsor from 21-22 March 2018. To register, please follow the link here.

 

MHRA Newsletter: November 2017

The MHRA Safety Features Newsletter is available to view on the HDA website. To view the newsletter, please click here.

 

Media Summary

Fanfare and optimism for UK’s Life Sciences Sector Deal

Pharmaphorum, Andrew McConaghie, 6 December 2017

 

Pharmaphorum reports that the Life Sciences sector has been chosen as the flagship for the UK’s post-Brexit industrial strategy. While Theresa May’s government looks fragile after the row that erupted with its parliamentary partners, the DUP, over its plans for Brexit and Ireland, it has won over the pharma, biotech and medtech sectors with a promise of special status for the industries.

Business Secretary Greg Clark and Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt will unveil the Sector Deal for the Life Sciences industries today, which the UK government has said will be ‘transformative’.

No fewer than 25 organisations from across the sector have pledged ‘significant investment’ in the UK, which the government hopes will put the country at the forefront of developing treatments and medical technologies.

Industry leaders are nonetheless warning that a Brexit that sees the UK out in the cold, not ‘aligned’ with European rules and regulations, will almost certainly see disinvestment from the UK.

 

Fears of ‘jolt’ to NHS supply chain

Evening Standard, Kate Procter, 5 December 2017

 

The Evening Standard reports on comments by Martin Sawer, HDA Executive Director, during his BBC Today programme interview, in which he highlighted that any separation from the EU on medicine regulation could ‘jolt’ the medicines supply chain.

The publication also reiterates the warning of medical suppliers that for in-demand products there might only be enough stock to last the country a matter of days in the event of a regulatory divergence from the EU.

 

 

Parliamentary Coverage

Health Select Committee: Brexit and regulation of medicines, medical devices and substances of human origin, 5 December 2017

During a session of the Health Select Committee’s inquiry on Brexit, MPs heard evidence from several witnesses on the potential impact of Brexit on the regulation and supply of medicines including Martin Sawer, Executive Director of the Healthcare Distribution Association, Richard Freudenberg, Secretary-General of the British Association of European Pharmaceutical Distributors and Ian Bateman, Director of Quality, NHS Blood and Transplant.

Martin appeared to discuss the need to mitigate any disruption to the cross-border flow of medicines following the UK’s exit from the European Union.

To view the full summary of the session, please click here.

Full Coverage

Fears of ‘jolt’ to NHS supply chain

Evening Standard, Kate Procter, 5 December 2017

 

Supplies of medicines used by the NHS could be at risk if Brexit means changes to cross-border trade, experts warned today. Martin Sawer, executive director of the Healthcare Distribution Association, told the BBC he was concerned any separation from the EU on medicine regulation could ‘jolt’ the supply chain.

He said: ‘We are concerned about the regulatory divergence and about tariffs on product. Over 90 per cent typically in a warehouse is imported in part or in full into the UK. In the longer term, there could be severe jolts to the system’.

Medical suppliers say that for in-demand products there might only be enough stick to last the country a matter of days.

 

 

Fanfare and optimism for UK’s Life Sciences Sector Deal

Pharmaphorum, Andrew McConaghie, 6 December 2017

 

The Life Sciences sector has been chosen as the flagship for the UK’s post-Brexit industrial strategy, with an impressive roll-call of deals assembled for its launch later today.

While Theresa May’s government looks fragile once again after a row erupted with its parliamentary partners, the DUP, over its plans for Brexit and Ireland, it has won over the pharma, biotech and medtech sectors with a promise of special status for the industries.

Business Secretary Greg Clark and Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt will unveil the Sector Deal for the Life Sciences industries today, which the UK government believes will be ‘transformative’.

It will lay out an agreed set of strategic goals that it says will ensure the UK builds on its exceptional reputation for science and research, genomics and clinical trials.

No fewer than 25 organisations from across the sector have pledged ‘significant investment’ in the UK, which the government hopes will put the country at the forefront of developing treatments and medical technologies.

Industry leaders are nonetheless warning that a Brexit that sees the UK out in the cold, not ‘aligned’ with European rules and regulations, will almost certainly see disinvestment from the UK. But for the meantime, the UK focus on listening closely to the sector’s demands seems to have paid off.

Here are the highlights of the new investments announced:

• MSD is to establish a state-of-the-art life sciences discovery research facility in London, focussed on early bioscience discovery and entrepreneurial innovation, which the company believes will expand its opportunity to engage with leading researchers in the UK and Europe

• Janssen (J&J’s pharma division) and the University of Oxford intend to collaborate on novel clinical trial methodologies in the UK; these would include platform trials, focused on mental health disorders such as depression

• The Medicines Company has initiated two projects – one with the University of Oxford to perform a large multi-national cardiovascular disease clinical trial and another with The Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership to improve the understanding, management and economics of cardiovascular disease.

• GSK and AstraZeneca: significant investments from both companies in initiatives to harness advances in genetic research in the development of medicines

• Roche Diagnostics says the government supports the mainstream implementation of Digital Pathology services across the NHS. This could see innovative approaches to cancer testing trialled in the NHS, includes whole slide scanners, image management software and image analysis algorithms

This co-ordination of good news came together at a reception held at 10 Downing Street last night, with life science leaders rubbing shoulders with BEIS secretary Greg Clark, health secretary Jeremy Hunt and NHS leaders and academic research chiefs to toast the future success of the UK sector.

But industry leaders won’t be getting carried away when there are hugely significant questions about the UK’s post-Brexit future to be decided in 2018.

Mike Thompson, chief executive officer, ABPI said:  “Today’s announcements are a great start towards industry and Government working together to deliver the long-term strategic roadmap set out in the Life Sciences Industrial Strategy.

“These are smart investments for the future that acknowledge the Government’s willingness to build upon the UK’s global strength in R&D, our leadership in new technologies such as genomic medicine and the potential that exists in making the best use of health data.”

The Sector Deal won’t include a deal on probably the most crucial UK market question – the uptake of new medicines. This will instead be decided in late 2018, when the existing PPRS pricing deal must be renegotiated.

The Life Sciences Industrial Strategy, authored by leading Oxford scientist Sir John Bell, was essentially an ambitious industry wish-list, but the ABPI and its biotech counterpart the BIA will push to have as many of its demands met as possible.

“If we get this right – if the Life Sciences Industrial Strategy is implemented in full – the UK can open itself up to be at the forefront of cutting-edge clinical research,” said Mike Thompson.

“NHS hospitals will reap the benefits of global clinical trials and the financial rewards they bring; doctors can prescribe the latest treatments and patients will get the best standard of care. This ecosystem will deliver for everyone.

“Next year could be a transformative year for the NHS as we work together to deliver this innovation to underpin a more productive health service.”

The details of the Sector Deal will be revealed later this morning, with an expectation that an quasi-independent structure will be set up within the UK to oversee the Industrial Strategy.

The ABPI has called for an “open and collaborative relationship between government, and Sir John Bell and key representatives from the sector, with regular dialogue on progress on the implementation and delivery of the deal’s vision,”  This will be the true acid test for the Sector Deal, with the denouement of Brexit negotiations in 2018 being the last crucial piece of the jigsaw.

HDA UK Media And Political Bulletin – 6 December 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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