HDA Media And Political Bulletin – 15 July 2016

Jeremy Hunt will continue in health secretary role

14 July, The Pharmaceutical Journal

 

Contrary to rumours which announced his dismissal, Jeremy Hunt is to remain in his post of Secretary of State for Health in the Cabinet of the UK’s new Prime Minister, Theresa May. The Pharmaceutical Journal reports that, as the longest serving health secretary in UK history, and arguably the most controversial, Hunt’s reappointment means that he must now open an honest debate with the British people about future plans for the NHS.

 

Parliamentary Coverage

House of Commons Questions, NHS: Drugs, 13 July 2016
Health

Mr Nicholas Brown: What recent progress has been made on the Competition Market Authority’s investigation into claims that generic drug procurement costs are being artificially increased by suppliers.

Department of Health

George Freeman:
I refer the Rt. hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Birmingham, Selly Oak (Steve McCabe) on 4 July 2016

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House of Commons Questions, Pharmacy: Internet, 14th July 2016
Health

Helen Jones: If he will take steps to restrict the quantities of drugs which can be bought from online pharmacies.

Department of Health

George Freeman:
There are no plans for additional controls on the quantities of drugs which can be bought from online pharmacies. In the United Kingdom, there are strict legal controls on the retail sale, supply and advertisement of medicinal products. These legal controls apply equally to medicines sold or supplied via the internet or e-mail transactions. Under medicines legislation, it is unlawful for medicinal products for human use to be marketed, manufactured, imported from a third country, distributed and sold or supplied in the UK except in accordance with the appropriate licences or exemptions. Prescription only and pharmacy medicines may only be legally sold or supplied by or under the supervision of a pharmacist on registered pharmacy premises. In addition, prescription only medicines may only be dispensed against a prescription written by a doctor, dentist or independent prescriber. There are also controls on quantities of certain pharmacy medicines that can be sold or supplied and that applies if the medicine is sold in a pharmacy or online.

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House of Commons Questions, Pharmacy: Internet, 14th July 2016
Health

Helen Jones: What steps he has taken to review the health impact of prescribing from online pharmacies; and if he will make a statement.

Department of Health

Alistair Burt:
As health professionals, online prescribers are regulated by their respective professional regulator. The General Medical Council (GMC) expects all doctors to take account of its guidance on remote prescribing and relevant clinical and other guidelines, regardless of how they prescribe.
Doctors working independently or in private practice, including on-line prescribers, with a business based in England, are regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), if they provide a regulated activity and are within scope of the CQC registration. They are required to provide people with safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led care.
Online pharmacies, like other registered pharmacies, are regulated by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) and are required to comply with the GPhC’s standards for registered pharmacies. Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, working in online pharmacies, are also regulated by the GPhC and must comply with the GPhC’s standards of conduct, ethics and performance.
The Department has not recently reviewed on-line prescribing

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Full Coverage

Jeremy Hunt will continue in health secretary role

14 July, The Pharmaceutical Journal

 

Jeremy Hunt will remain as health secretary, contrary to speculation in the media on 14 July 2016 that new UK prime minister Theresa May had ousted him from the post as part of a cabinet reshuffle.

 

Hunt, who is the longest serving health secretary in UK politics history at three years and 305 days, expressed his delight on Twitter. “‘Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated…’ Thrilled to be back in the best job in government,” he said.

Stephen Dalton, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, commented: “I would like to congratulate Jeremy Hunt on his reappointment and I look forward to continuing to work with him. This continuity provides stability in political leadership at a critical time for the health services where the focus must be on transformation for the benefit of patients.”

 

Chris Ham, chief executive of The King’s Fund, said: “Jeremy Hunt faces some formidable challenges. He is on record as saying the NHS will need more money and he must now lead an honest debate with the public about what the health service can deliver with its budget. This means reviewing current priorities and avoiding making new commitments which cannot be funded.”

 

Ham added that tackling the growing crisis in social care will be a key test of May’s promise on a country that works for everyone and must move much higher up Hunt’s agenda. He added that Hunt must rebuild trust with NHS staff, especially junior doctors, to ensure that a motivated, engaged workforce delivers the best possible care for patients.

 

The names of the junior health ministers who will make up Hunt’s team are likely to be announced over the next few days. Pharmacy minister Alistair Burt has already announced that he will step down in September 2016.

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