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Media And Political Bulletin – 30 January 2018

Media and Political Bulletin

30 January 2018

Media Summary

NHS trust chief warns of no-deal Brexit medicine delays

BBC News, 29 January 2019

The BBC reports that Dr David Rosser, Chief Executive of University Hospitals Birmingham, has warned that NHS trusts could ‘quickly run out of vital medicine’ in the event of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit.

Dr Rosser said that despite NHS stockpiling, shortages would likely occur due to ‘unprecedented’ distribution challenges.

The Department of Health said that planning for a ‘no-deal’ Brexit was ‘ongoing.’

UK and Russia to share data on medicines

Politico, Helen Collis, 29 January 2019

Politico reports that British and Russian drugs regulators have agreed to work together to share information on medicines suppliers and manufacturers. According to the UK Government, the deal will help track criminals trading in fake drugs and ensure medicines are of optimal quality.

‘Working in an increasingly global environment, the sharing of intelligence between medicines regulators is the cornerstone of protecting the health system worldwide,’ said Sam Atkinson, head of inspection, enforcement and standards at the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency.

Parliamentary Coverage

House of Commons, Tabled and Written Questions, 29 January 2019

Mr Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi, MP: To ask the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, what recent discussions he has had with representatives of the health sector on the UK leaving the EU.  

Answered by Robin Walker: The Department engages extensively with the health sector.

We meet with industry leaders and groups including the British Medical Association, the Royal College of Nursing, the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry and the UK Bioindustry Association to understand their priorities.

I regularly meet those from the health and life sciences sector along with supporting industries.

Leaving in an orderly way with a deal would provide clarity for the sector, including exploring the possibility of cooperation in the European Medicines Agency.

Full Coverage

NHS trust chief warns of no-deal Brexit medicine delays

BBC News, 29 January 2019

NHS trusts could “quickly run out of vital medicine” in the event of a no-deal Brexit, the chief executive of a leading hospital group has warned.

Dr David Rosser of University Hospitals Birmingham (UHB) said that, despite NHS stockpiling, shortages would likely occur due to “unprecedented” distribution challenges.

Dr Rosser made the warning in a paper presented to the UHB board last week.

The Department of Health said planning for a no-deal Brexit was “ongoing”.

It added: “We are working closely with the NHS, industry and the supply chain to make detailed plans to ensure continued access to healthcare, medical devices and clinical supplies in the event of no deal.”

In his memo to the UHB board, Dr Rosser said: “In terms of the potential for major operational impact and severe and widespread risks to public safety, by far the greatest concern is the availability of medicines, devices and clinical supplies.”

He added that a Department of Health report into which medicines were likely to face shortages had “not been made available” to NHS trusts but that “it is assumed that a significant proportion of the medicines and consumables we use at UHB on a daily basis may be at risk”.

These shortages, Dr Rosser said, would lead to most non-urgent operations being postponed.

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On Tuesday, MPs backed an amendment in Parliament rejecting a no-deal Brexit, but the vote was not binding – meaning the date for exit remains 29 March.

MPs also backed seeking “alternative arrangements” to replace the Irish backstop in Theresa May’s Brexit plan – but the EU has said it will not change the legal text agreed with the UK PM.

Dr Rosser also warned “a fractious no-deal scenario” could have a “major impact” on EU staff working in the NHS.

“We employ around 1,200 EU staff, of whom 262 are doctors, 375 are nurses or midwives, 320 are scientific or other clinical staff, and the balance are in support services,” he said.

“All of these people are vital and highly valued colleagues.”

UK and Russia to share data on medicines

Politico, Helen Collis, 29 January 2019

British and Russian drugs regulators have agreed to work together to share information on medicines suppliers and manufacturers.

The deal will help track criminals trading in fake drugs and ensure medicines are of optimal quality, the U.K. government said today.

“Working in an increasingly global environment, the sharing of intelligence between medicines regulators is the cornerstone of protecting the health system worldwide,” said Sam Atkinson, head of inspection, enforcement and standards at the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

It covers the exchange of information on medicines regulations; safety alerts and information; cooperation on Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) inspections; and collaborating on enforcement activities.

Atkinson said working more closely with countries like Russia “makes it easier for us to track down criminals, promote good practices internationally, and identify emerging safety trends to protect public health.”

The announcement comes as the U.K. seeks to increase global links on medicines ahead of Brexit.

The MHRA previously said it would seek regulatory partnerships with Canada, Australia and Switzerland, for example, to ensure the U.K. remains an attractive market for drugmakers. Those partnerships would be deeper than the Russian deal, since they would mean a product approved by the U.K. would automatically gain market access to these countries and vice versa.

However, today’s announcement could help address another consequence of Brexit — the U.K.’s potential exclusion from the EU’s database to detect adverse reactions to drugs. The deal with Russia would help detect any side effect concerns.

Media And Political Bulletin – 30 January 2018

From Factory to Pharmacy

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