News

Media and Political Bulletin – 28 May 2020

Media and Political Bulletin

28 May 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19): travellers exempt from UK border rules

UK Home Office, 22 May 2020

Last Friday Home Secretary Priti Patel announced new public health measures for all UK arrivals to guard against a second wave of coronavirus infections. Measures include 14 days’ self-isolation for anyone entering the UK, bar a short list of exemptions. Of particular importance to our sector, the below exemptions have been granted:

  • Qualified persons and responsible persons for human medicines, clinical trials and pharmacovigilance.
  • A worker with specialist technical skills, where those specialist technical skills are required for essential or emergency works or services (including commissioning, maintenance, and repairs and safety checks) to ensure the continued production, supply, movement, manufacture, storage or preservation of goods.

These arrangements are due to come into effect on 8 June, and measures will be subject to review every three weeks.

Media Summary

Government launches online portal to order PPE; setback to pharmacy as sector is left behind

Pharmacy Business, Pri Mandav, 27 May 2020

Pharmacy Business reports that pharmacy has not been allowed access to a new government online portal designed to help primary and social care providers to order critical PPE. During the current phase of the roll-out, GPs and small residential and domiciliary social care services will be invited to register on the portal.

Claire Anderson, Chair of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society said, “It’s really disappointing to see pharmacy being left behind in this phase of the roll-out”. She added: “People working on the frontline of COVID-19 should get the same support wherever they may be, including across the whole of primary care.”

The government said it was focusing on small care providers because “they seem to be less likely to be registered with wholesalers,” adding that its data shows that they account for half of all care provision.

Parliamentary Coverage

There was no parliamentary coverage today.

Full Coverage

Government launches online portal to order PPE; setback to pharmacy as sector is left behind

Pharmacy Business, Pri Mandav, 27 May 2020

In a major setback, pharmacy has not been allowed access to a new government online portal designed to help primary and social care providers to order critical personal protective equipment (PPE).

The PPE Portal, developed in collaboration with eBay, has been tested and is being scaled up nationally over the coming weeks.

During the current phase of the roll-out, GPs and small residential and domiciliary social care services will be invited to register on the portal.

RPS demands inclusion of pharmacy

Commenting on the news, Royal Pharmaceutical Society Chair Claire Anderson said: “It’s really disappointing to see pharmacy being left behind in this phase of the roll-out.

“Pharmacies are one of the last places keeping their doors open to the public without an appointment and yet seemingly an afterthought when it comes to sourcing PPE for staff.

“We’ve raised this repeatedly with the Government and have called for pharmacy to urgently being included in the PPE Portal.

“People working on the frontline of COVID-19 should get the same support wherever they may be, including across the whole of primary care.”

The government said it was focusing on small care providers because “they seem to be less likely to be registered with wholesalers,” adding that its data shows that they account for half of all care provision.

“It’s therefore important that they ensure that they have the option of quickly joining the portal should they need to.”

Significant boost to PPE supply

Government on Tuesday (May 27) announced “a significant boost” to PPE supplies across health and social care sectors, following deals with more than 100 new suppliers from around the world in a challenging global market, including securing a further 3.7 billion gloves to help meet the expected demand.

The government has also supported UK industry to significantly boost domestic production with companies signing contracts to manufacture over 2 billion items of PPE in the UK, including facemasks, visors, gowns and aprons.

Since the start of the outbreak, over 1.48 billion items of PPE have been delivered to the frontline in England, and tens of millions more items distributed in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, a government press release stated.

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said: “Last month, I set a national challenge to ensure we continue to supply enough PPE to those on the frontline of this battle.

“We have now signed deals with over 100 suppliers across the world to secure more PPE, and at the same time we have ramped up domestic production. We have now ordered 2 billion pieces of PPE from homegrown firms which is also great news for jobs and the economy, and over 3 billion pieces from abroad.

“Worldwide demand for PPE has never been higher so I want to thank Paul [Lord Deighton] for his work in ensuring that PPE continues to be delivered to where it is needed.

The UK has worked with numerous international partners to procure additional PPE supplies throughout the pandemic. A new team has been established to secure new supply lines from across the world and will continue to strengthen and diversify the supply chain.

Domestic production is simultaneously being ramped up to unlock new avenues to get PPE to the frontline.

Lord Paul Deighton, who leads the government’s efforts to secure PPE, said: “As unprecedented demand for PPE continues around the world, British industry has stepped forward to strengthen the UK’s response and increase PPE supplies.

“We have already secured millions of PPE items through deals with British industry, and continue to work with hundreds of potential manufacturers to further bolster our domestic supply chain now and in the future.”

Media and Political Bulletin – 28 May 2020

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

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