News

Media And Political Bulletin – 14 May 2020

Media and Political Bulletin

18 May 2020

Government guidance published to help ensure workplaces are as safe as possible. The government, in consultation with industry, has published guidance to help employers, employees and the self-employed understand how to work safely during the coronavirus pandemic.

There are 8 guides, including on Factoriesplants and warehouses and on Vehicles.

Media Summary

 

Salazopyrin out of stock until June 1

P3 Pharmacy, Pharmacy Networks News, 13 May 2020

P3 Pharmacy reports that the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee has informed community pharmacies that Salazopyrin 500mg suppositories are out of stock until the week beginning June 1.

The supply issues were caused by “an increase in demand seen by the sole supplier Pfizer” according to the negotiator. During this period, limited supplies of Salofalk 500mg suppositories will be available from Monday May 18. Additionally, they reported that Pentasa 1g suppositories remain available during this period.

33 more medicines added to export blacklist

Dispensing Doctors’ Association, MHRA, 13 May 2020

Dispensing Doctors’ Association reports that the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) have added 33 medicines to the list of medicines which must not be parallel exported from the UK.

The new restrictions cover specified pharmaceutical forms and strengths of medicines, including Ibuprofen. The list will continue to be reviewed on an ongoing basis.

Programme to develop sustainable cold chain delivery for COVID-19 vaccine initiated

European Pharmaceutical Review, Victoria Rees, 12 May 2020

European Pharmaceutical Review reports that researchers and scientists are launching a new research project in India that will help to establish sustainable cold chain delivery systems for a COVID-19 vaccine in resource-poor countries.

Universal vaccine access is a major challenge, particularly in low-income countries – partly due to the lack of robust cold-chains. The Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization estimates that only 10 percent of health care facilities in the world’s poorest countries have a reliable electricity supply while in some countries less than 5 percent of health centres have vaccine-qualified refrigerators.

Parliamentary Coverage

 

House of Commons – Written Question, 13 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.

 

Full Coverage

 

Salazopyrin out of stock until June 1

P3 Pharmacy, Pharmacy Networks News, 13 May 2020

The Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee has informed community pharmacies that Salazopyrin (sulfasalazine) 500mg suppositories are out of stock until the week beginning June 1.

The negotiator said supply issues affecting the medication, which is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, were caused by “an increase in demand seen by the sole supplier Pfizer.”

PSNC also reported that limited supplies of Salofalk (mesalazine) 500mg suppositories, used to treat inflammatory bowel disease including ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, will be available from Monday May 18 and that Pentasa 1g suppositories remain available during this period.

33 more medicines added to export blacklist

Dispensing Doctors’ Association, MHRA, 13 May 2020

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) have added 33 medicines to the list of medicines which must not be parallel exported from the UK.

The new restrictions cover specified pharmaceutical forms and strengths of medicines including:

Atenolol

Azithromycin

Bisoprolol

Buprenorphine

Dexamethasone

Digoxin

Glycopyrronium bromide

Ibuprofen

Lisinopril

Metoprolol

Tiotropium

The list, will continue to be reviewed on an ongoing basis, to include any product that meets the following criteria:

  • the medicine is required to meet the needs of UK patients;
  • the medicine is either being parallel exported or is at threat of being parallel exported; and
  • the export of that medicine is either contributing to, or may contribute to, a shortage of that medicine in the UK.

Programme to develop sustainable cold chain delivery for COVID-19 vaccine initiated

European Pharmaceutical Review, Victoria Rees, 12 May 2020

Scientists are launching a new research project in India that will help to engineer an efficient and sustainable delivery mechanism for the distribution of an eventual COVID-19 vaccine to billions of people around the globe.

Supported by the Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation in India, experts from the University of Birmingham and Heriot-Watt University, both UK, are joining forces with non-profit, commercial and academic partners to begin investigating the scale of challenge involved in distributing a potentially temperature-sensitive COVID-19 vaccine.

According to the researchers, universal vaccine access is a major challenge, particularly in low-income countries – partly due to the lack of robust cold-chains. The Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization estimates that only 10 percent of health care facilities in the world’s poorest countries have a reliable electricity supply while in some countries less than 5 percent of health centres have vaccine-qualified refrigerators.

Toby Peters, Professor of Cold Economy at the University of Birmingham, commented: “Universal vaccine access is already a major challenge. With COVID-19, rapid mass immunisation will probably be required; maintaining a continuous cold chain to rapidly transport and deliver COVID-19 vaccine to all communities, many where electricity supply and cooling infrastructure is often non-existent or unreliable, will be a daunting task. Given most of the technologies deployed today will still be in operation in the next decade, the emergence of sustainable and off-grid cold-chain devices allows us the opportunity to create sustainable solutions for COVID-19 vaccine deployment that also can deliver resilient and sustainable health cold-chain systems as a lasting legacy.”

Shubhashis Dey, Associate Director of Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation, commented: “COVID-19 related mass immunisation requirements offer us an opportunity to not only increase our vaccine production, but also create a robust logistics cold chain system that can handle the country’s overall vaccine needs… Our effort is designed to help India overcome this massive logistic challenge sustainably and create a model of global adoption.”

Research in India will be led by the Centre for Environment Education and supported by commercial partners such as Zanotti (a part of the Daikin Group), Sure Chill and Nexleaf Analytics. This group will begin by researching a number of questions that will be key to solving the cold-chain conundrum, including which countries have the needed infrastructure, what the the financing requirements to establish an efficient vaccine delivery system and how this can be done sustainably.

Clean cold experts from the University of Birmingham and Heriot-Watt University are working with Indian counterparts Centre for Environment Education and MP Ensystems to explore how integrated ‘Community Cooling Hubs’ can integrate food cold chains with other cold-dependent services such as community health facilities, social facilities and even emergency services.

Professor Phil Greening, from the Centre for Sustainable Road Freight at Heriot-Watt University, commented: “We may have 12-18 months to engineer a robust, efficient distribution system to ensure any vaccine for COVID-19 can reach the world’s population, whether they are in urban or remote rural areas. A radical approach like community cooling hubs could help meet the different communities’ cooling needs in a clean, affordable and sustainable way while helping to safeguard people’s health. There will be many knowns and unknowns in facing the coronavirus challenge, but a vaccine is one of the very few exit strategies around which scientists and government are aligned.”

Researchers at the University of Birmingham and Heriot-Watt University believe that their work in this area will ultimately help to:

  • Develop a short- to medium-term crisis exit solution aimed to deliver COVID-19 vaccine in a safe, efficient and clean manner, while still maintaining routine vaccine deliveries
  • Create a long-term contingency framework through establishment of logistics specifically for medicine, blood, vaccines, that is cost-effective, sustainable and responsive to different levels of challenge – basic needs, natural disasters/ regional epidemics, national pandemics
  • Deliver lasting value by meeting current unmet and future vaccine demand.

Professor Peters added: “Ultimately, we need a global effort to prepare the vaccine and in parallel a global strategy to develop the appropriate sustainable and legacy equitable cold chains and achieve this with minimum environmental impact. Out-of-the-box thinking is needed if we are to define sustainable and inclusive solutions that can be delivered quickly and at scale to beat this pandemic and unlock connections between COVID-19 vaccine deployment, sustainable cold chain and development of clean energy infrastructure.”

 

Media And Political Bulletin – 14 May 2020

From Factory to Pharmacy

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