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Media And Political Bulletin – 21 February 2019

Media and Political Bulletin

21 February 2019

Media Summary

Brexit – Wollaston Resigns Party

Politico, Helen Collis, 21 February 2019

Politico reports that Sarah Wollaston, Chair of the Commons Health Committee, on Wednesday was among three Conservative party MPs who quit the party to join seven former Labour party MPs under an independent banner (not yet a formal party), primarily over the government’s handling of Brexit.

Wollaston won’t be going anywhere in the Health Committee however. Under parliamentary rules, party affiliation (or lack thereof) of the Chair is not relevant once elected.

Government sets up dedicated no-deal Brexit shipping route for medical products with ‘short lead times’

The Pharmaceutical Journal, Carolyn Wickware, 20 February 2019

The Pharmaceutical Journal reports that the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has established a “dedicated shipment channel” for suppliers of medical products that need to be urgently imported to the UK from the EU after Brexit.

The plans are laid out in a letter to suppliers, which was sent on 18 February 2019 by Steve Oldfield, Chief Commercial Officer at the DHSC, as part of the government’s no-deal Brexit contingency planning.

Majority of community pharmacies failed to meet FMD deadline, figures confirm

The Pharmaceutical Journal, 20 February 2019

The Pharmaceutical Journal reports that SecurMed has confirmed that more than half of the community pharmacies in the UK did not meet the Falsified Medicines Directive (FMD) deadline for implementation.

The SecurMed figures also show that a third of wholesalers holding a wholesale dealer’s licence (731 out of 2,150 [34%]) had signed up to FMD by 12 February 2019, while 12.5% of dispensing doctors (149 out of 1,200) also met the deadline. They also show that 285 hospital pharmacies were FMD compliant on 12 February 2019. This constitutes 63% of 450 hospital pharmacies in the UK, covering both the NHS and private sector.

 

Parliamentary Coverage

Commons Tabled Written Question – 20 February 2019

Asked by Emma Dent Coad (Kensington): To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 8 February 2019 to Question 215257, on NHS: drugs, what information his Department holds on the level of medicine shortages in the last 12 months.

 

Full Coverage

Brexit – Wollaston Resigns Party

Politico, Helen Collis, 21 February 2019

Wollaston on Wednesday was among three Conservative party MPs who quit the party to join seven former Labour party MPs under an independent banner (not yet a formal party), primarily over the government’s handling of Brexit. Wollaston, Chair of the Commons Health Committee, posted the Tory MPs’ joint letter announcing her resignation “with regret.”

Staying put: Wollaston won’t be going anywhere in the Health Committee however. Under parliamentary rules, party affiliation (or lack thereof) of the Chair is not relevant once elected. So we expect to see her at the helm Tuesday to quiz experts on the nation’s sexual health. She’s involved in 10 enquiries at present including investigating the NHS long-term plan and the pricing impasse for Vertex’s cystic fibrosis drug Orkambi.

Government sets up dedicated no-deal Brexit shipping route for medical products with ‘short lead times’

The Pharmaceutical Journal, Carolyn Wickware, 20 February 2019

A “dedicated shipment channel” will enable suppliers with short lead times to import medical products to the UK from the EU after Brexit, according to government contingency plans.

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has established a “dedicated shipment channel” for suppliers of medical products that need to be urgently imported to the UK from the EU after Brexit.

The plans are laid out in a letter to suppliers, which was sent on 18 February 2019 by Steve Oldfield, Chief Commercial Officer at the DHSC, as part of the government’s no-deal Brexit contingency planning.

As part of the government’s contingency plans, companies have already been asked to create a six-week stockpile of medicines in preparation for a no-deal scenario.

But the DHSC said in the letter that it recognises “that not all suppliers of medical devices and clinical consumables have the capability to hold stock of their full product range in the UK, often due to the need to supply goods on a ‘just in time’ basis as part of a clinical procedure, and they routinely supply product directly from distribution centres in the EU to care providers or patients”.

The DHSC said in the letter that the route will be open to suppliers with “short lead times” of between 24 hours and 72 hours and has encouraged companies to register to use the route “as an important element of their preparedness arrangements”.

To coordinate the shipment channel’s use, the department has set up a “logistics hub in Belgium”, which is expected to “move products from mainland Europe into the UK and through to care providers and patients, typically within three days” of their arrival into the hub.

Plans for the dedicated shipment route come as health secretary Matt Hancock told Parliament on 19 February 2019 that the DHSC has spent £11m on contingency planning for a no-deal Brexit, adding that he expects “it will remain at about that level, or a little higher”.

Stephen Hammond, minister of state for health and social care, had previously said that storage facilities to hold the required six-week stockpile of medicines was “expected to cost the government in the low tens of millions of pounds with the refrigerated storage expected to cost circa £1m”.

Majority of community pharmacies failed to meet FMD deadline, figures confirm

The Pharmaceutical Journal, 20 February 2019

More than half of the community pharmacies in the UK did not meet the Falsified Medicines Directive (FMD) deadline for implementation, the body running the system in the UK has confirmed.

Figures published by SecurMed, the organisation that operates the UK National Medicines Verification System, which holds data from FMD-compliant medicine packs in the UK, show that 6,288 community pharmacies were compliant with FMD requirements on 12 February 2019, three days after the 9 February 2019 deadline. SecurMed estimates that there are 15,000 community pharmacies in the UK, meaning that approximately 42% are signed up to FMD.

The SecurMed figures also show that 285 hospital pharmacies were FMD compliant on 12 February 2019. This constitutes 63% of 450 hospital pharmacies in the UK, covering both the NHS and private sector.

A third of wholesalers holding a wholesale dealer’s licence (731 out of 2,150 [34%]) had signed up to FMD by 12 February 2019, while 12.5% of dispensing doctors (149 out of 1,200) also met the deadline.

Earlier in February 2019, SecurMed told The Pharmaceutical Journal that it expected less than half of pharmacies in the UK to meet the FMD deadline.

Media And Political Bulletin – 21 February 2019

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