News

HDA UK Media and Political Bulletin – 9 July 2021

Media Summary

All children in Britain to be offered flu shots this autumn
Reuters, 9 July 2021  

Reuters reports that all children will be offered flu shots in autumn. The rollout will be available to everyone under the age of 16, as well as all over 50’s, and others with health conditions.

Overall, the programme is expected to include over half the population and will be extended to cover all pupils at secondary school.

This was also reported by The Telegraph.

NPA urges Brexit negotiators to allow medicines supply as usual to Northern Ireland
Pharmacy Business, Swati, 8 July 2021

Pharmacy Business reports that the National Pharmacy Association (NPA) appealed to Brexit negotiators on 8th July 2021, calling on them to achieve an agreement that will permit manufacturers and suppliers to continue the usual supply of medicines to Northern Ireland.

NPA board representative for Northern Ireland, Michael Guerin, said: “This situation, if unresolved, will be intolerable for NPA members and patients in Northern Ireland. We are deeply concerned that the additional cost and complexity of getting medicines into Northern Ireland will result in some manufacturers and suppliers not bringing products to the market. This could result in reduced stock being available, leading to medicine shortages and an increase in the procurement costs.”

Guerin urged the EU and UK to address this issue urgently to prevent future disruption and for the benefit patients, carers, pharmacists and GPs.

In addition, Guerin highlighted that the NPA has been working with key stakeholders, including the MHRA, Community Pharmacy Northern Ireland (CPNI) and the Healthcare Distribution Association (HDA), to amplify concerns to all parties in the negotiations.

 

 Parliamentary Coverage

Written Question – House of Lords, 28 June 2021

Lord Dodds of Duncairn: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what process will be followed for Northern Ireland in circumstances where the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency approves a licence for a medicine but such approval has not been given by the European Medicines Agency.

Written Answer – House of Lords, 8 July 2021

Lord Bethell (Conservative, Excepted Hereditary): We are committed to maintaining parity of access to medicines across the United Kingdom. In circumstances where the approval dates for products in Great Britain and Northern Ireland differ, doctors can prescribe medicines outside of the label in areas of unmet medical need. The General Medical Council provides clear recommendations to physicians on prescribing medicines which they consider is in the patient’s best interest but may not carry the specific indication. We continue to work with colleagues in Europe to ensure that approval for medicines in Great Britain and Northern Ireland are aligned in the future

Correspondence with the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care on the Health and Care Bill
Health and Social Care Committee, 6 July 2021

The Health and Social Care Committee has published a piece of correspondence from Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Sajid Javid on the Health and Care Bill.

The Health Secretary states that the legislation will promote collaboration, reduce needless bureaucracy, improve accountability and help to improve health outcomes.

Sajid Javid discusses recommendations made in the report by members of the Health and Social Care Committee and how they have informed the drafting of the legislation.

The Committee proposed that Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) should be held accountable for the quality and safety of care through transparent Care Quality Commission (CQC) assessments.

Javid suggested that officials have been working closely with the CQC and National Health Service England (NHSE) to develop proposals to include in the Bill as an amendment.

Javid agreed with the Committee’s recommendation that the Bill should include a framework setting out the roles and responsibilities of both the Integrated Care Board (ICB) and the Integrated Care Partnership (ICP), and of the Chair of the ICP. This will be included in the statutory guidance for both ICBs and ICPs.

Similarly, he agreed with the recommendation that NHSE should provide guidance on how the responsibilities and accountabilities of NHS trusts and foundation trusts align with these.

Following recommendations, the Bill will ensure that ICBs have a duty to consult patients and carers when undertaking their functions.

The Committee made several recommendations in relation to membership of ICBs, including that criteria should be set for appointments to ICBs by the Secretary of State.

The NHSE will now be responsible for the appointment of chairs and chief executives to the ICB, Javid said they are working with them to develop a set of criteria for these appointments.

Furthermore, the Committee also proposed that NHSE and the Department review the training and support provided to board members.

NHSE currently provides a range of training and development opportunities to ICS leads, chairs and nonexecutives. As part of the move to statutory ICSs, this offer will continue to evolve and national guidance will be produced to further help board members, including designate ICS chairs and CEOs.

On procurement, reforms will give commissioners more responsibility over when to use a competitive process to arrange services, with proportionate checks and balances.

Javid highlighted his agreement with the Committee’s position of the need for transparency and scrutiny of the decisions made and the contracts awarded under the proposed new provider selection regime.

In line with the committee’s proposal, the implementation period will consider the different stages that different parts of the country will be at in the process.

At the centre of the Bill is flexibility and to allow local leaders to develop local solutions.

ICSs will be ready to perform core functions from April 2022, subject to the passage of the legislation, and NHSE will prepare to work with systems over the course of the year.

 

Full Coverage

All children in Britain to be offered flu shots this autumn -The Telegraph
Reuters, 9 July 2021  

All children will be offered flu shots this autumn amid fears Britain could be facing one of the worst seasons on record, The Telegraph reported late on Thursday.

The rollout will be extended to everyone under the age of 16, as well as all over 50, and millions of others with common health conditions, The Telegraph reported.

The programme will cover more than half the population and would be expanded this year to cover all pupils at secondary school, the report added, citing sources.

NPA urges Brexit negotiators to allow medicines supply as usual to Northern Ireland
Pharmacy Business, Swati, 8 July 2021

The National Pharmacy Association (NPA) issued a new appeal to Brexit negotiators on Thursday (July 8), urging them to strike an agreement that will allow manufacturers and suppliers to continue supply of medicines to Northern Ireland as usual.

Under the Northern Ireland protocol, part of the Brexit withdrawal agreement, medicines made in the UK have to be licensed separately for use in the country, including separate safety inspections and other checks, before they can be given to the public.

The protocol came into force on January 1 2021, and is now part of international law.

“This situation, if unresolved, will be intolerable for NPA members and patients in Northern Ireland. We are deeply concerned that the additional cost and complexity of getting medicines into Northern Ireland will result in some manufacturers and suppliers not bringing products to the market. This could result in reduced stock being available, leading to medicine shortages and an increase in the procurement costs,” the NPA board representative for Northern Ireland, Michael Guerin, said.

“The medicines supply to Northern Ireland is integrated into the UK market and works on a just in time basis. The close alignment of regulations would help to limit future disruption. We urge the EU and the UK to address this issue urgently and not leave it for patients, carers, pharmacists and GPs to pick up the problem further down the line.”

Guerin informed that on behalf of its members, the NPA has been working with key stakeholders, including the MHRA, Community Pharmacy Northern Ireland (CPNI) and the Healthcare Distribution Association (HDA), to amplify concerns to all parties in the negotiations.

The NPA board discussed this issue during its board meetings on June 28-29 along with other topics, including the community pharmacist consultation service, covid costs, supervision and pharmacy IT.

The board also welcomed the chief executive of Community Pharmacy Scotland, Harry McQuillan, who shared his organisation’s vision of a clinically-based future for the sector.

HDA UK Media and Political Bulletin – 9 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?