HDA UK Media And Political Bulletin – 26 January 2017

Media Summary

NHS England rejects all requests for cuts protection so far

Chemist and Druggist, Grace Lewis, 25 January 2017

NHS England has so far rejected every application from pharmacies requesting financial protection from funding cuts. The Pharmacy Access Scheme is designed to protect pharmacies which are situated a mile or more from another pharmacy from the “full effect” of the cuts – as long as they are not in the top 25% best-performing businesses according to dispensing volume. NHS England has apologised for the delay in responding to some pharmacies. 88 applications still need to be reviewed by the commissioner.

NHS Scotland and RPS Scotland publish best practice standards for managing medicine shortages

The Pharmaceutical Journal, 24 January 2017

NHS Scotland and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) in Scotland have launched a best practice standards for the management of medicines shortages in secondary care. Providing guidance to NHS hospitals about the management of drug shortages at a local level, the standards aim to minimise risks to patients caused by treatment delays. Collaborative working across NHS Scotland is key, and multidisciplinary teams will be integral to supporting patient care under the strain of drug shortages.

Parliamentary Coverage

House of Commons, Oral Answers, Prime Minister’s Office, 25 January 2017

Dr Philippa Whitford (Central Ayrshire) (SNP): The European Medicines Agency provides a single drug licensing system for 500 million people and results in the UK having drugs licensed six to 12 months ahead of countries like Canada and Australia. Yesterday, the Health Secretary stated that the UK will not be in the EMA, so can the Prime Minister confirm this and explain how she will prevent delayed drug access for UK patients?

The Prime Minister: There are a number of organisations that we are part of as members of the European Union. As part of the work that we are doing to look at the United Kingdom’s future after we leave the European Union, we are looking at the arrangements we can put in place in relation to those issues. The pharmaceutical industry in this country is a very important part of our economy, and the ability of people to access these new ​drugs is also important. I assure the hon. Lady that we are looking seriously at this and will ensure that we have the arrangements that we need.

A full transcript can be found here.

Full Coverage

NHS Scotland and RPS Scotland publish best practice standards for managing medicine shortages

The Pharmaceutical Journal, 24 January 2017

NHS Scotland and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) in Scotland have launched best practice standards for the management of medicines shortages in secondary care.

The jointly developed standards provide guidance to NHS hospitals around the management of drug shortages at a local level and aim to minimise risks to patients caused by treatment delays.

The guidance outlines four guiding principles, including collaborative working, to ensure that medicines in short supply are used for the patients with the greatest clinical need and that no action is taken that could exacerbate a shortage for the wider NHS. The document also lists 13 standards covering policy, risk assessment and internal processes. A key recommendation is ensuring that when a medicine is in short supply, only the volume of medicines required to meet normal demand should be ordered to avoid exacerbating the shortage. The standards also state that the director of pharmacy in each health board is responsible for ensuring that there are strategies, procedures and sufficient staff in place for effective management of medicines shortages.

Roisin Kavanagh, lead pharmacist University Hospital Crosshouse and co-chair of the working group that supported the development of the standards, comments: “A range of staff within health boards need to be involved in the management of shortages including pharmacy, medical and nursing staff; this guidance provides best practice advice on the management of shortages by multidisciplinary teams and promotes collaborative working across NHS Scotland to minimise the impact of shortages on patient care.”

John McAnaw, chair of the RPS Scottish Pharmacy Board, says: “The RPS in Scotland will continue to engage with medical and nursing professional bodies and organisations to ensure these best practice standards are shared across our professions and help underpin collaborative working at all levels.”

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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