HDA UK Media And Political Bulletin – 26 October 2017

Media and Political Bulletin

26 October 2017

Media Summary

 House of Lords hears of fears for community pharmacy

The Pharmaceutical Journal, 25 October 2017

The Pharmaceutical Journal reports on the House of Lords debate on community pharmacy that took place on 19th October. Former Labour health minister Lord Hunt of Kings Heath tabled a “motion of regret” on cutbacks and reforms to community pharmacy, and on what he described as its “painful impact on thousands of people”.

Peers discussed the motion submitted by Lord Hunt, in which he highlighted the delay in the review of the regulations governing providing community pharmaceutical services, the closure of community pharmacies resulting from the budget cuts in 2016–2017 and 2017–2018, as well as changes to the way the funding for these services is distributed.

The debate was also reported by the PSNC.

More generic prescribing could save £18m, NHS Business Services Authority says

The Pharmaceutical Journal, 25 October 2017

The Pharmaceutical Journal highlights the announcement by the NHS Business Services Authority (NHS BSA) that nearly £18m could be saved from the NHS drugs budget if more medicines from a published list were prescribed generically.

A list of 20 drugs that could be prescribed generically has been published by the NHS BSA. It claims that if these were prescribed when clinically appropriate, a national total of £17.9m could be saved.

 

Parliamentary Coverage

 

There is no Parliamentary coverage today.

 

Full Coverage

House of Lords hears of fears for community pharmacy

The Pharmaceutical Journal, 25 October 2017

Former Labour health minister Lord Hunt of Kings Heath has tabled a “motion of regret” on cutbacks and reforms to community pharmacy, and on what he described as its “painful impact on thousands of people”.

Peers from across the political spectrum recently highlighted the essential role of community pharmacies in a House of Lords debate on the profession, where Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Lord O’Shaughnessy, praised the role community pharmacy played in the nation’s health

Peers from across the political spectrum have highlighted the essential role of community pharmacies in a House of Lords debate on the profession.

Former Labour health minister Lord Hunt of Kings Heath tabled a “motion of regret” on cutbacks and reforms to community pharmacy, and on what he described as its “painful impact on thousands of people”.

On 19 October 2017, peers discussed the motion submitted by Lord Hunt, which regretted that “NHS’s (Pharmaceutical and Local Pharmaceutical Services) (Amendment) Regulations 2017, in delaying the review of the regulations governing providing community pharmaceutical services, do not prevent the closure of community pharmacies resulting from the budget cuts in 2016–2017 and 2017–2018, and changes to the way the funding is distributed”.

During the debate, Lord Hunt objected to the Government’s wider approach to funding for community pharmacy.

“My concern is that the cutbacks or reforms will have a painful impact on thousands of people and therefore need to be thwarted as soon as possible,” he said.

“By reducing the contribution that community pharmacies can make, there is a risk of an increased burden on already pressed GPs and A&E departments.”

Both Lord Hunt, and Liberal Democrat life peer Baroness Jolly, cited a PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) report that highlighted the value of community pharmacies. Peers also expressed concerns about cashflow issues facing community pharmacies, and the impact that a reduction in services could have on patients and other health services.

“PwC determined that patient benefits totalled £612m, that the wider societal benefits were £575m, and that the NHS benefits to the tune of £1,352m,” Baroness Jolly said.

“I suggest that when not only our GPs but our A&E services are under immense pressure from patients presenting with conditions that do not require prescriptions or that level of advice, this is not the time to take away from the high street the welcome and expertise of the neighbourhood pharmacies,” she added.

The debate was also told about the social benefits of community pharmacies and community pharmacy flu vaccinations, and peers asked the government about the Murray Review and its plan for community pharmacy.

For the Government, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Lord O’Shaughnessy, praised the role community pharmacy plays in the nation’s health.

“The work of community pharmacies is deeply valued by the Government,” he said.

Lord O’Shaughnessy stated the need for the NHS to find £22bn in efficiency savings, and said that community pharmacy must play its part in helping to eliminate the Government’s budget deficit.

He said there was “recognition” of the cashflow issues, adding: “The Department is working with the trade body and pharmacies to look at this issue.”

 

More generic prescribing could save £18m, NHS Business Services Authority says

The Pharmaceutical Journal, 25 October 2017

Nearly £18m could be saved from the NHS drugs budget if more medicines from a published list were prescribed generically, the NHS Business Services Authority (NHS BSA) has said.

A list of 20 drugs that could be prescribed generically has been published by the NHS BSA. It claims that if these were prescribed when clinically appropriate, a national total of £17.9m could be saved. If the generic prescribing rates for these medicines in every clinical commissioning group (CCG) matched the average of their best five comparable CCGs, then £4.2m could be saved.

Based on patient level prescribing data in the form of a ‘dashboard’, the NHS BSA tool includes the savings that could be made across various geographies, from national to GP practice level. The current rates of prescribing of the generic products are also shown.

The dashboard says it includes medicines “deemed by experienced pharmacists to have the least potential for clinical controversy”. It has been published on the NHS BSA’s information ePACT2 information service.

If a CCG has a number of medicines with relatively low current levels of generic prescribing in their locality, the NHS BSA advises them to notify community pharmacies of plans to increase generic prescribing so they can prepare for increases in demand.

Although 81% of prescriptions in England are prescribed generically, pharmacists have expressed concerns that the supplies of generic medicines are vulnerable to market forces, with manufacturers restricting their distribution, and currency exchange rates affecting prices. The Department of Health has been asked to intervene to shield pharmacies from such changes and help boost the strength of supply chains for generic medicines.

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

Apply to become a Member

Membership of the HDA guarantees your organisation:

  • Access to leading policy and industry forums of debate and discussion
  • Invitations to a range of networking industry events organised through the year, including an Annual Conference and a Business Day
  • Representation on HDA working parties, including the Members’ Liaison Group
  • A daily Political and Media Bulletin and HDA Newsletters
  • Access to HDA policy documents and all sections of the HDA website
  • Branding and marketing opportunities
Apply Now

Already a Member?