News

Media and Political Bulletin – 02 June 2020

Media and Political Bulletin

02 June 2020

Media Summary

Challenges obtaining stock due to quota restrictions? We want to hear from you

Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee, 01 June 2020

The PSNC reports that its Dispensing and Supply Team has become aware that drug quota allocations applied by manufacturers and wholesalers are an increasing problem for many pharmacies. Following the COVID-19 pandemic, the situation has worsened further with reports indicating that quota restrictions are being applied to more drugs and any existing drug quota allocations being reduced or often set to zero.

The PSNC is therefore urging community pharmacy teams to report issues obtaining stock due to drug quota restrictions applied by wholesalers or manufacturers through this updated reporting form, to assist with their representation of these issues to the HDA, the DHSC and the ABPI.

PSNC: Government should write off pharmacies’ £350m debt

P3 Pharmacy, Pharmacy Network News, 01 June 2020

P3 Pharmacy reports that PSNC chief Simon Dukes has said the Government should write off the £350m cash advance it has given pharmacies in England to keep afloat during the Covid-19 crisis.

Mr Dukes said: “PSNC’s position is that we need to write-off this advance against other costs and activities that contractors have borne during the pandemic.”

“Our discussions with DHSC continue,” he said, adding that its overall funding bid for costs incurred by contractors in tackling the pandemic is “still with HM Treasury and we await a response”.

Mr Dukes said that PSNC’s virtual committee meeting in May highlighted a number of ambitions for the sector, including using technology to improve workflow, achieving greater regulatory flexibility and how bureaucracy can be reduced.

Parliamentary Coverage

Medicines and Medical Devices Bill – Notices of Amendments, 01 June 2020

Notices of Amendments as at 01 June 2020 have been published today to the Medicines and Medical Devices Bill.

The Bill was passed at Second Reading on Monday 02 March 2020 and has now been referred to a Public Bill Committee. The Committee has been appointed but the sittings have been postponed. It is proposed that when it reconvenes it reports by Thursday 11 June 2020.

House of Commons – Written Answer, 29 May 2020

Matt Vickers (Stockton South): To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of whether there has been a change in the price of medicines and drugs for the NHS and pharmacists since the start of the covid-19 outbreak.

Jo Churchill: The costs of branded medicines are controlled by the 2019 Voluntary Scheme for Branded Medicines Pricing and Access and the statutory scheme for branded medicines.

For unbranded generic medicines the Department relies on competition to keep prices down. This has led to some of the lowest prices in Europe and allows prices to react to the market. In an international market this ensures that when demand is high and supply is low, prices in the United Kingdom can increase to help secure the availability of medicines for UK patients.

We continuously monitor overall movements in changes in prices of medicines through various methods including data from suppliers using the provisions in the Health Service Products (Provision and Disclosure of Information) Regulations 2018. However, it is too early to assess the full financial impact on the National Health Service and pharmacies in light of COVID-19.

Full Coverage

Challenges obtaining stock due to quota restrictions? We want to hear from you

Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee, 01 June 2020

PSNC is urging community pharmacy teams to report issues obtaining stock due to drug quota restrictions applied by wholesalers or manufacturers to assist with our representation of these issues to the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), the Healthcare Distribution Association (HDA) and the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI).

The PSNC Dispensing and Supply Team has become aware that drug quota allocations applied by manufacturers and wholesalers are an increasing problem for many pharmacies. Pharmacy contractors are reporting difficulties in sourcing stock of many products (including of life-saving drugs) and are having to spend an inconsiderable amount of time and staff resource daily to obtain supplies, often to no avail.

Following the COVID-19 pandemic, the situation has worsened further with reports indicating that quota restrictions are being applied to more drugs and any existing drug quota allocations being reduced or often set to zero by wholesalers. PSNC recently raised these concerns with DHSC at a joint meeting involving representatives from HDA and ABPI to discuss and understand the ongoing issues relating to the impact of drug quota allocations on pharmacy teams and the patients they serve.

We have updated our reporting form to allow pharmacy teams to report quota issues, which supports our representation of issues in the supply chain. The information gathered through the form may be shared with DHSC, HDA, ABPI and the respective manufacturers/wholesalers of the drug(s), where appropriate, to help with investigation of the reported quota issue(s). The information may also be used as an evidence base in discussions with manufacturers, for example to highlight problems within their distribution and contingency arrangements.

Along with this updated quota restriction form, PSNC also has the following reporting tools available to help you alert us to supply problems.

PSNC’s supply problem reporting forms

Reporting a quota restricted line

Please use the form above to report quota restrictions on branded products.

Reporting a product over Drug Tariff price

Please use the form above to report a generic medicine obtained over the Drug Tariff price for PSNC to consider a price concession request.

Reporting a medicine shortage

Please use the form above to report any new medicine shortages not listed on the Specialist Pharmacy Service (SPS) website. We regularly share any feedback received on reported drug shortages with DHSC to support its monitoring of the supply chain.

Reporting problems obtaining an appliance listed in the Drug Tariff

Please use the form above to report problems experienced in obtaining a product listed in Part IX of the Drug Tariff.

PSNC: Government should write off pharmacies’ £350m debt

P3 Pharmacy, Pharmacy Network News, 01 June 2020

The Government should write off the £350m cash advance it has given pharmacies in England to keep afloat during the Covid-19 crisis, PSNC chief Simon Dukes has said.

Writing in the May edition of PSNC’s news bulletin, Mr Dukes said the negotiator was developing proposals to take to Government concerning the future of the community pharmacy sector “and the financial implications”.

He said that while NHS England & Improvement and the Department of Health and Social Care are planning to move into a phase of ‘restoration and recovery’ after the initial upheaval caused by the pandemic, PSNC believes the sector should focus more on what he described as ‘reset and reform’.

Noting that unlike some of the devolved nations “we in England do not have a timetable” for when cash advances totalling £350m need to be repaid, Mr Dukes said: “PSNC’s position is that we need to write-off this advance against other costs and activities that contractors have borne during the pandemic.”

“Our discussions with DHSC continue,” he said, adding that its overall funding bid for costs incurred by contractors in tackling the pandemic is “still with HM Treasury and we await a response”.

Mr Dukes said that PSNC’s virtual committee meeting in May highlighted a number of ambitions for the sector, including using technology to improve workflow, achieving greater regulatory flexibility and how bureaucracy can be reduced.

The negotiator’s report on the meeting highlights “immediate priorities” including the upcoming flu vaccination season and “the role that pharmacies could play in future Covid-19 services such as testing and a possible future pandemic vaccination”.

Media and Political Bulletin – 02 June 2020

From Factory to Pharmacy

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