News

Media And Political Bulletin – 23 October 2018

Media and Political Bulletin

23 October 2018

Media Summary

Martin Sawer, HDA’s Executive Director, appeared on this morning’s Today Programme on BBC Radio 4, ahead of an appearance in front of the Health and Social Care Select Committee’s ‘No-Deal Brexit’ inquiry. A press release can be found here.

The full transcript of his appearance on the show can be found in the “Full Coverage” section of this Bulletin.

Hard Brexit could cripple UK science, say Nobel prizewinners

The Guardian, Jessica Elgot, 23 October 2018

The Guardian reports that a coalition of Nobel laureates has said a hard Brexit could cripple UK science, in a letter to Theresa May and the European commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker.

The article reports that the letter from the scientists came amid warnings that emergency powers may be needed to ensure patients can still get the medicines they need after a no-deal Brexit. The Healthcare Distribution Association said 50% of medicines in a typical wholesaler’s warehouse had been through the EU at some point.

The article also includes a quote from Martin Sawer, the HDA’s Executive Director, who is due to give evidence to MPs on Tuesday, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “A no-deal, we believe, would require some sort of temporary emergency powers to ensure consistent supply to patients in the UK.”

No Deal Brexit ‘will force UK to use emergency powers’ to stop shortages of vital medicine

Mirror Online, Andrew Woodcock and Dan Bloom, 23 October 2018

The Mirror Online also reports on today’s warnings that a no-deal Brexit could force the UK to use “emergency powers” to ensure vital supplies of medicine do not run dry, were issued.

It states that firms that supply 90% of NHS medicines sounded the alert as Theresa May summons her Cabinet with time ticking down to leaving the EU.

The article also includes a warning from the Healthcare Distribution Association that regulatory problems and transport hold-ups could result in drug shortages.

The article also reports that Martin Sawer, Executive Director of the Healthcare Distribution Association, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “A no-deal, we believe, would require some sort of temporary emergency powers to ensure consistent supply to patients in the UK.”

Emergency powers ‘needed to ensure medicine supply in no-deal Brexit’

The New European, Matt Withers, 23 October 2018

The New European similarly reports on the Healthcare Distribution Association’s warning that regulatory problems and transport hold-ups could result in drug shortages in the UK.

The article also includes Martin Sawer’s comments to the BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “A no-deal, we believe, would require some sort of temporary emergency powers to ensure consistent supply to patients in the UK, because 50% of the medicines in a typical warehouse of a wholesaler has touched the EU at some point or other before getting to the UK.”

Is your supply chain secure from factory to consumer?

The Telegraph – Business Reporter, Alastair Taylor and Yoshiyuki Mizuguchi, 23 October 2018

The Telegraph reports that product counterfeiting and diversion has become industrialised on a global scale, endangering consumer safety and undermining economies and brands. The global cost of counterfeiting and diversion is projected to reach $2.8 trillion (£2.15 trillion) by 2022, as it infiltrates leading industries including pharmaceutical, health and beauty, and alcoholic beverages.

There are currently technologies in use that track and trace products across the supply chain – from radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags to holograms and specialised printer inks. However, these are additive, costly solutions that can be defeated by bad actors, as they do nothing to authenticate, detect or prevent counterfeits or diversion.

UniSecure analyses the random, microscopic variations in every product barcode, QR code or other printed code using a digital camera.

MHRA no-deal Brexit consultation closes soon

Pharmacy Magazine, no author, 22 October 2018

Pharmacy Magazine reports that a consultation launched by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency on the impact of a no-deal Brexit closes on Thursday 1 November. It deals with how legislation and regulatory processes would have to be modified in the event of the UK not securing a deal with the EU after the UK’s exit, with no implementation period.

The consultation covers no-deal proposals on medicines, clinical trials and medical devices.

The coming storm in the pharma supply chain

PharmaField, Najib Rehman and Hassan Chaudhury, 22 October 2018

PharmaField reports that the pharmaceutical supply chain is complex and fragmented with too many intermediaries, wide variation in remuneration schemes, structural inefficiencies, and poor access to timely information to allow understanding of what is going on. There has been no real change for decades and the highly regulated nature of the sector is slow-moving, which acts as a barrier to innovation.

Pharma executives often argue that there are too many supply chain intermediaries, with competition and a lack of communication across manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers complicating the picture and obscuring visibility.

Oxfordshire epi-pen shortage fears taken to House of Commons
Press Release, Layla Moran, 22 October 2018

Layla Moran demanded action from Health Ministers yesterday in the House of Commons after local parents raised concerns with her about a shortage of epi-pens in the country.

Commenting, Layla Moran said that “Last week’s news that the NHS is giving instructions to pharmacies to look at limiting supplies is worrying to say the least. I am determined to keep up the pressure in Parliament and with the Government until the issues around these shortages are solved.”

Parliamentary Coverage

House of Commons, Tabled and Written Questions, 22 October 2018

Layla Moran: To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the shortage of EpiPen 0.3mg Auto-Injectors in (a) Oxfordshire and (b) England; and what steps he is taking to address that shortage.

Answered by Steve Brine: The United Kingdom supplier of EpiPen 0.3mg adrenaline auto-injectors, Mylan, has estimated that they are currently able to supply approximately 50% of their normal demand for this product. Within the UK there are two alternative 0.3mg adrenaline auto-injector devices and the manufacturers of these have been able to increase their supplies and support the market during this time. We therefore expect that patients will continue to be able to access 0.3mg adrenaline auto-injector devices if prescribed. The Department is working very closely with all the manufacturers of adrenaline auto-injectors, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, NHS England, and others to try to resolve these issues and improve the situation as quickly as possible.

MHRA decision on revoked or suspended manufacturing and wholesaling licences/ registrations

On 22 October 2018, the MHRA published an updated version of its list of companies in the UK who have had their licence/registration to manufacture or wholesale medicines/ingredients revoked or suspended.

Full Coverage

Full transcript of Martin Sawer’s appearance on this morning’s Today Programme on BBC Radio 4:

….is used in the UK. And it comes on the day that the Health Secretary will face questioning on how the NHS could cope with no deal. Martin Sawer is Executive Director of the Healthcare Distribution Association and he joins us in the studio, good morning to you.

Good morning.

Why might emergency powers be necessary?

This is in the context of no-deal Brexit so today’s an opportunity to tell politicians in Parliament’s Select Committee why, if we do not get a deal on a frictionless border between the EU and the UK on medicines,  then a no-deal we believe would require some sort of emergency agreement to ensure consistent supply to patients in the UK because 50% of the medicines in the typical warehouse of a wholesaler have touched the EU some point or other before getting to the UK.

So is this essentially a worry about friction at the border to, in other words, supplies being held up at the border which, over time, one assumes would get resolved, or is it also a regulatory problem?

It is a problem about aligning regulations to start with. And that creates an ease of transport, but also it is a logistics issue about all of the transport infrastructure being ties up in Callie trying to get into France, that we need to get back here.

So let’s go back to these emergency powers, what would they be and what would they allow pharmacies to do now that they can’t do already?

Well we are proposing, and of course it hasn’t really been discussed with government, that they consider the things like, in the event of a no-deal, pharmacies being able to share medicines between each other in a local area and pharmacies being given a greater discretion to change prescriptions as needed, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society talked about that at the weekend. But also, I think we would like a remission of dealer’s licenses, the distribution licenses in the UK. There is over two-and-a-half 1000 of these. If they were revoked and then certain licences issued for those who concentrate on distribution, we believe there would be a safer distribution system in the event of an emergency.

Because why? What is it that you are concerned about this licence?

At the moment, the generics market particularly works very well for the NHS, it is a competitive market, a lot of trading in generics goes on, producing very very low prices – and fills gaps that we believe in the event of a no-deal Brexit, there would be shortages and effects to that commodity system that we can’t foresee.

To be clear, are you talking about long or short term problems? Because Britain produces a huge amount of pharmaceuticals, there is a lot that we export into the EU, in other words there are drugs that they want and medicines that they want on the EU side post-Brexit. So presumably this could be resolved relatively quickly after the failure to get a deal?

I don’t think quickly would be the right word, I think certainly in a matter of months or years, alternative supply routes could be established because it’s all about adding cost. Whatever we do would add cost. Other routes will add cost. This is all being developing infrastructure for medicine since we joined the EU. So the trouble is that we are unpicking this and businesses are not planning against uncertainty, we don’t actually know what is going on so because of an uncertain future, we can’t yet plan for what a no-deal would look like.

We often hear though people say that they want to sell us their cars or they want to sell us their cheese, you say if you translate that to medicines to pharmaceuticals, you suggest that is too simplistic to suggest that because they will want to buy from us and sell to us, this can be resolved.

I think in the longer term yes it could be resolved with alternative sources but it is going to, it would add cost into the system for a long time and provide supply shocks which patients are patients and if you want your medicine, we are here really to defend that right of patients to get their medicines. They shouldn’t need to know where they come from, we deliver twice a day to every pharmacy, doctor and hospital in the UK, a lot of people don’t know that. So private sector doing it, the NHS paying for it.

Martin Sawer, Executive Director of the Healthcare Distribution Association, thank you.

Hard Brexit could cripple UK science, say Nobel prizewinners

The Guardian, Jessica Elgot, 23 October 2018

Dozens of scientists write letter to May and Juncker setting out their concerns.

A coalition of Nobel laureates has said a hard Brexit could cripple UK science, in a letter to Theresa May and the European commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker.

The letter, signed by 29 Nobel prizewinners and six Fields medallists, says the UK “must now strive to ensure that as little harm as possible is done to research”.

Among the signatories was Sir Paul Nurse, the British geneticist who won his Nobel for pioneering work on cancer therapy and tumour diagnosis, and the biologist Venki Ramakrishnan, president of the Royal Society.

“The increasing chaos – because that’s what it looks like – around the Brexit negotiations is causing huge concern among scientists,” Nurse told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. “The government doesn’t seem to be putting this at the top of its agenda.”

“I can’t tell you how depressed our young scientists are about the messages coming out of government. This is just awful. You are letting your extremists dominate the debate. You have to get a grip on them.”

A survey of more than 1,000 staff at the Crick Institute, the biggest biomedical research lab in Europe, found 97% of them believed a hard Brexit would be bad for UK science and 82% thought it would have a detrimental effect on European science.

The science minister, Sam Gyimah, said the government was making preparations to protect collaboration in the event of a no-deal Brexit. “We all recognise that a chaotic Brexit will be a significant setback for science,” he said. “That is why we have got a plan to ensure that, deal or no deal, there will be no cliff-edge for UK science.”

Gyimah said there were “unprecedented amounts of money going into UK science – £7bn in the next five years – that is more than we have ever invested in research and development”.

However, Nurse said that would not directly replace the £1bn in EU funding that could be lost. “The £7bn … will bring us up from being up from the bottom of the G7 nations, to somewhere in the middle,” he said. “And this cut, of up to £1bn, will significantly erode that.”

Nurse said there were also significant concerns about the mobility of scientists, and present visa arrangements for non-EU countries were inhibiting cooperation. “We are increasing the difficulties of getting people into the country,” he said. “The prime minister frankly does not have a positive view about immigration – that’s her main driver. We cannot feel confident that problem is going to be solved.”

Gyimah said May had made it clear the UK wanted to continue to associate with EU programmes after Brexit, but there would be some changes.

“We are leaving the EU and the nature of our arrangements in science will, in all honesty, change,” he said. “But we have significant assets to bring to the table as far as the EU is concerned, world-class universities, top scientists, so we are in a position to have a win-win deal. The mobility of scientists is a key part of what we will agree with the EU in the future economic partnership.”

The letter from the scientists came amid warnings that emergency powers may be needed to ensure patients can still get the medicines they need after a no-deal Brexit. The Healthcare Distribution Association said 50% of medicines in a typical wholesaler’s warehouse had been through the EU at some point.

Martin Sawer, the HDA’s Executive Director, who is due to give evidence to MPs on Tuesday, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “A no-deal, we believe, would require some sort of temporary emergency powers to ensure consistent supply to patients in the UK.”

“It’s a problem about aligning regulations to start with. That creates an ease of transport. It’s also a logistics issue about all the transport infrastructure being tied up in Calais, trying to get into France, that we need to get back here.”

It could take “months or years” for alternative supply routes to be established, he said. “We believe, in the event of a no-deal Brexit, there would be shortages and effects to that commodity system that we can’t foresee,” he said. “We don’t know what’s going on, so, because of an uncertain future, we can’t yet plan for what a no-deal would look like.”

No Deal Brexit ‘will force UK to use emergency powers’ to stop shortages of vital medicine

Mirror, Andrew Woodcock and Dan Bloom, 23 October 2018

No Deal Brexit could force the UK to use “emergency powers” to ensure vital supplies of medicine do not run dry, it was warned today.

Firms that supply 90% of NHS medicines sounded the alert as Theresa May summons her Cabinet with time ticking down to leaving the EU.

Reports suggest No Deal Brexit plans must be put into action within weeks as the UK and EU remain deadlocked over Northern Ireland’s border.

Now the Healthcare Distribution Association has warned regulatory problems and transport hold-ups could result in drug shortages.

The body, which represents private companies supplying more than 90% of the medicines used in the NHS, called for pharmacists to get greater powers and changes to distribution licences to ensure a smooth flow.

Executive Director Martin Sawer told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “A no-deal, we believe, would require some sort of temporary emergency powers to ensure consistent supply to patients in the UK.”

“Because 50% of the medicines in a typical warehouse of a wholesaler has touched the EU at some point or other before getting to the UK.”

“It’s a problem about aligning regulations to start with. That creates an ease of transport.”

“It’s also a logistics issue about all the transport infrastructure being tied up in Calais, trying to get into France, that we need to get back here.”

Mr Sawer is due later today to give evidence to the House of Commons Health Committee on the HDA’s proposals for emergency powers.

The body has not yet discussed its proposals with the Government.

But ministers have said publicly they are drawing up plans to stockpile or even fly in lifesaving drugs if ports are snarled up.

Sir Chris Wormald, the head of the Department of Health, last week admitted medicine supplies “keep me awake” at night.

If the UK leaves the EU on 29 March 2019 with no deal, the Association is today urging ministers to consider:

New powers for pharmacists to be able to share medicines between each other in a local area

Greater discretion for pharmacists to change prescriptions as needed

The revocation of the 2,500-plus dealers’ licences in the UK, to allow for new licences to be issued only to those companies which concentrate on distribution.

Mr Sawer said the market – particularly in generic drugs – is currently “very competitive”, producing very low prices for the NHS and swiftly filling gaps in supply.

“We believe, in the event of a no-deal Brexit, there would be shortages and effects to that commodity system that we can’t foresee,” he warned.

It could take “months or years” for alternative supply routes to be established, said Mr Sawer, and even then “supply shocks” could be expected.

And he added: “Whatever we do will add cost. Other routes would add cost.”

“The infrastructure for medicines has all been developed since we joined the EU, and we are unpicking this and businesses are not planning against uncertainty.”

“We don’t know what’s going on, so, because of an uncertain future, we can’t yet plan for what a no-deal would look like.”

Mr Sawer said: “We are here really to defend that right of patients to get their medicines. They shouldn’t need to know where they come from.”

“We deliver twice a day to every pharmacy hospital doctor in the UK. It’s the private sector doing it, and the NHS paying for it.”

Emergency powers ‘needed to ensure medicine supply in no-deal Brexit’

The New European, Matt Withers, 23 October 2018

Emergency powers may be needed to ensure patients can still get the medicines they need after a no-deal Brexit, the body representing health product distributors has warned.

The Healthcare Distribution Association, which represents private companies supplying more than 90% of the medicines used in the NHS, warned that regulatory problems and transport hold-ups could result in drug shortages in the UK.

They are calling for pharmacists to be given greater powers to respond to shortages, and for changes to distribution licences to streamline the system.

Martin Sawer, Executive Director of the Healthcare Distribution Association, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “A no-deal, we believe, would require some sort of temporary emergency powers to ensure consistent supply to patients in the UK, because 50% of the medicines in a typical warehouse of a wholesaler has touched the EU at some point or other before getting to the UK.”

“It’s a problem about aligning regulations to start with. That creates an ease of transport.”

“It’s also a logistics issue about all the transport infrastructure being tied up in Calais, trying to get into France, that we need to get back here.”

Mr Sawer is due today to give evidence to the House of Commons Health Committee on the HDA’s proposals for emergency powers, which it has not yet discussed with the government.

In the event of the UK leaving the EU without a withdrawal agreement, the association is calling on ministers to consider:

New powers for pharmacists to be able to share medicines between each other in a local area;

Greater discretion for pharmacists to change prescriptions as needed;

The revocation of the 2,500-plus dealers’ licences in the UK, to allow for new licences to be issued only to those companies which concentrate on distribution.

Mr Sawer said the market – particularly in generic drugs – was currently “very competitive”, producing very low prices for the NHS and swiftly filling gaps in supply.

“We believe, in the event of a no-deal Brexit, there would be shortages and effects to that commodity system that we can’t foresee,” he warned.

It could take “months or years” for alternative supply routes to be established, said Mr Sawer, and even then “supply shocks” could be expected.

And he added: “Whatever we do will add cost. Other routes would add cost.”

“The infrastructure for medicines has all been developed since we joined the EU, and we are unpicking this and businesses are not planning against uncertainty.”

“We don’t know what’s going on, so, because of an uncertain future, we can’t yet plan for what a no-deal would look like.”

Mr Sawer said: “We are here really to defend that right of patients to get their medicines. They shouldn’t need to know where they come from.”

“We deliver twice a day to every pharmacy hospital doctor in the UK. It’s the private sector doing it, the NHS paying for it.”

Is your supply chain secure from factory to consumer?

The Telegraph – Business Reporter, Alastair Taylor and Yoshiyuki Mizuguchi, 23 October 2018

UniSecure, developed by Systech International, is a cloud-based, comprehensive, mobile authentication solution that reduces counterfeiting and diversion.

Product counterfeiting and diversion has become industrialised on a global scale, endangering consumer safety and undermining economies and brands. The global cost of counterfeiting and diversion is projected to reach $2.8 trillion (£2.15 trillion) by 2022, as it infiltrates leading industries including pharmaceutical, health and beauty, and alcoholic beverages.

This exposes manufacturers, especially in the pharmaceutical sector, to risk as diverted products prevent essential medicines from reaching patients. And the efficacy of diverted drugs could be reduced from improper handling, robbing people of their expected remedy – often with dire consequences.

There are currently technologies in use that track and trace products across the supply chain – from radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags to holograms and specialised printer inks. However, these are additive, costly solutions that can be defeated by bad actors, as they do nothing to authenticate, detect or prevent counterfeits or diversion.

UniSecure analyses the random, microscopic variations in every product barcode, QR code or other printed code using a digital camera.

Previously there was no real end-to-end deterrence until the introduction of a new technology called UniSecure®. UniSecure, developed by Systech International, is a cloud-based, comprehensive, mobile authentication solution that reduces counterfeiting and diversion.

Covert, non-duplicable and secure, it is easy for supply-chain partners to validate, and affordable to implement and scale because it uses existing packaging.

UniSecure analyses the random, microscopic variations in every product barcode, QR code or other printed code using a digital camera. This creates a unique digital signature, or e-Fingerprint®, that enables product authentication from the item level to the pallet level, and track-and-trace capability using a mobile phone application.

Organisations committed to a secure supply chain, product quality, consumer safety and protecting brand equity should consider an integrated, brand-protection solution that lets you easily authenticate, secure, and connect your supply chain.

MHRA no-deal Brexit consultation closes soon

Pharmacy Magazine, no author, 22 October 2018

consultation launched by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency on the impact of a no-deal Brexit closes on Thursday 1 November. It deals with how legislation and regulatory processes would have to be modified in the event of the UK not securing a deal with the EU after the UK’s exit, with no implementation period.

The consultation covers no-deal proposals on medicines, clinical trials and medical devices.

The overall approach in no-deal is for the MHRA to be a stand-alone regulator, taking decisions and carrying out functions which are currently handled at EU-level. This would include decisions on Marketing Authorisation applications which are currently authorised through the Centralised Procedure, as well as pharmacovigilance responsibilities.

The MHRA adds that it firmly believes it is in the interests of both the EU and the UK to strike a deal but that it is the job of a responsible government to prepare for all scenarios, including the unlikely event that March 2019 is reached without agreeing a deal.

The coming storm in the pharma supply chain

PharmaField, Najib Rehman and Hassan Chaudhury, 22 October 2018

Keith Bontrager was a pioneer in mountain bike design who famously spoke of a ‘value triangle’ when it came to bikes. “Strong, light, cheap – pick 2”; meaning that if a bike is going to be light and strong then it won’t be cheap, and so on. Bontrager’s idea of a value triangle resonates in many other areas of life and the economy. It can even be applied to the pharmaceutical supply chain.

The pharmaceutical supply chain is complex and fragmented with too many intermediaries, wide variation in remuneration schemes, structural inefficiencies, and poor access to timely information to allow understanding of what is going on. There has been no real change for decades and the highly regulated nature of the sector is slow-moving, which acts as a barrier to innovation.

Butterfly effect

Pharma executives often argue that there are too many supply chain intermediaries, with competition and a lack of communication across manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers complicating the picture and obscuring visibility. This leads to a phenomenon known as the ‘bullwhip’ where retailers who can’t accurately anticipate their needs transmit distorted demand information back up the supply chain. This leads to a butterfly effect, which amplifies the variation for each intermediary and results in over-production, over-capacity and returns.

Ripe for disruption

There are a number of new trends to consider as well. There is growing complexity with online pharmacies and home-care delivery. Amazon also hasn’t ruled out entering the pharma distribution market and would certainly be disruptive if they did so. What about changes in demand from patients, systems and regulators, for example around precision medicine? What about measures to combat counterfeit drugs such as the Falsified Medicines Directive (FMD) and the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA)?

These largely-digital trends mean commercial entities are considering change anyway. The sector is ripe for disruption and it simply isn’t possible to resolve this without better information. This should lead to improved outcomes for patients, less risk for intermediaries and more revenue for all, including pharma companies.

Value triangle

This brings us back to our analogy with Bontrager’s value triangle. If you want information about the pharmaceutical supply chain then consider the three variables of:

1. Perfect information

2. Timely information

3. Inexpensive information

and pick 2.

If the information is timely and inexpensive then it won’t be comprehensive. However, in order to meet the challenges in the pharma supply chain we need all three at the same time. It is therefore in everyone’s interests to disrupt the traditional value triangle. Only by taking control of the critical information and informing each end of the chain can an intermediary add value and remain relevant. For that, we all need better information.

Change is inevitable

There is a genuine need for disruption. Change is coming whether we like it or not, so we should do our best to anticipate and shape the future before it shapes us. Disintermediation is inevitable if we do not act.

Rather than a brutal disintermediation, the fragmented landscape requires unification on a single platform that facilitates streamlined partnerships based on perfect, timely and inexpensive knowledge.

Oxfordshire epi-pen shortage fears taken to House of Commons

Press Release, Layla Moran, 22 October 2018

Epi-pens can only be used once and have an expiry date, usually of 12 months. It is recommended that people with severe allergies keep two of them on their person at all times in case of anaphylactic shock.

National shortages mean that both adults and children are being asked to use epi-pens beyond their use by dates.

Last week (18th October) the NHS told chemists to check whether young children are in urgent need of the pens before giving them out to parents. Pharmacists were told that only children who have no epi-pens should get the standard prescription of two devices.

One Wootton resident wrote to Layla Moran to ask for help over what she described as “a life threatening situation that needs to be addressed immediately.” She went on to say that, “I am writing this as part of a campaign to try and get someone to take some action as our region seems to be worst hit by this shortage.”

The email led Ms Moran to raise the issue in the House of Commons with the Government’s Health Secretary Matt Hancock, asking him “what estimate he has made of the shortage of EpiPen 0.3mg Auto-Injectors in (a) Oxfordshire and (b) England; and what steps he is taking to address that shortage.”

Responding, junior Health Minister Steve Brine MP told Layla that some suppliers are only able to meet 50% of the demand and that the Department for Health “is working very closely with all the manufacturers of adrenaline auto-injectors, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, NHS England, and others to try to resolve these issues and improve the situation as quickly as possible.”

Commenting, Layla Moran said:

“We have seen in several news stories over recent weeks just how serious and life-threatening serious allergies can be. Local parents of children with allergies, and adults affected themselves, are understandably extremely concerned about the shortage of epi-pens.”

“Last week’s news that the NHS is giving instructions to pharmacies to look at limiting supplies is worrying to say the least. I am determined to keep up the pressure in Parliament and with the Government until the issues around these shortages are solved.”

“No one should have to be worried about whether an epi-pen they’ve been told to use even after its use-by date will work if they need it to save their life during anaphaxis. Health ministers must get a grip and get on top of this crisis as a matter of priority.”

Notes:

Layla Moran’s Parliamentary question is as follows:

Question: Layla Moran (Lib Dem, Oxford West and Abingdon):

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the shortage of EpiPen 0.3mg Auto-Injectors in (a) Oxfordshire and (b) England; and what steps he is taking to address that shortage.

Answer: Steve Brine (Con, Minister of State for Health):

The United Kingdom supplier of EpiPen 0.3mg adrenaline auto-injectors, Mylan, has estimated that they are currently able to supply approximately 50% of their normal demand for this product. Within the UK there are two alternative 0.3mg adrenaline auto-injector devices and the manufacturers of these have been able to increase their supplies and support the market during this time. We therefore expect that patients will continue to be able to access 0.3mg adrenaline auto-injector devices if prescribed. The Department is working very closely with all the manufacturers of adrenaline auto-injectors, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, NHS England, and others to try to resolve these issues and improve the situation as quickly as possible.

Media And Political Bulletin – 23 October 2018

From Factory to Pharmacy

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