News on pharmaceuticals

needle injection blue

Exclusive: NHS setting up dozens of mass covid vaccination centres and seeking 40,000 staff

The health service is setting up more than 40 mass vaccination centres, and working on recruiting tens of thousands of staff for the huge covid-19 vaccination effort, HSJ  has learned.


Leaked government review plans new law to push data sharing

An official review carried out for the health secretary, leaked to HSJ, reveals plans to bolster the law to require greater sharing of patient data, saying it would help improve safety for those wrongly prescribed drugs.

Simon Stevens

Exclusive: Stevens accuses drugs firm of ‘using cover of coronavirus to price-gouge taxpayers’

The NHS England chief executive has publicly accused a pharma company of ”using the cover of coronavirus to try and price-gouge British taxpayers” — a claim the firm has strongly denied.

Vaccine syringe

Exclusive: Government delay could see people miss out on vaccines

Pharmacies are warning people are at risk of not getting the flu jab unless an urgent decision is made over the winter vaccination programme.

doctor ipad

All doctors’ financial interests must be published

A government review says the financial interests of all doctors should be published on the General Medical Council’s register, due to concerns around potential conflicts of interest.

files filing admin paper work

The NHS is failing ‘all those it was set up to serve’, concludes government review

The NHS has “either lost sight of the interests of all those it was set up to serve or does not know how best to do this”, a major government-commissioned review has concluded.

Interim Report

NHS warned it ‘will not be forgiven’ if it fails to act on Cumberlege report

The government and healthcare system “will not be forgiven” if they fail to act on a major report which reveals “institutional” resistance in the NHS to patient safety concerns, its authors warned today.

Woman scientist

Webinar: how covid sparked unprecedented collaboration between the NHS and industry

The need to respond at scale and pace to the coronavirus pandemic has created unprecedented collaboration between the NHS and the pharmaceutical and medical devices sector.


Government spent at least £5m on drug championed by Trump

The Department for Health and Social Care paid at least £3.15m on a bulk order of hydroxychloroquine tablets in April for clinical trials, after reportedly spending £2m on the drug in March.

Stephen Powis

NHS could have ‘answers’ on new covid treatments ‘before end of June’

The first results of clinical trials into therapeutic drugs used to treat covid-19 patients could be available before the end of June, according to an NHS letter.


Government bans parallel export of 80 drugs

The government has banned the parallel export of more than 80 drugs to protect the national supply of key medicines.


NICE finds new chief to replace retiring founder

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence’s deputy chief executive will replace founding CEO Sir Andrew Dillon, after he steps down this month.

Lord Bethell (2)

Ex-Ministry of Sound MD appointed health minister

The government has appointed a health minister in the Lords, who will lead on innovation and life sciences.

Gold star trophy for prize winner

HSJ Partnership Award winners announced

LloydsPharmacy Clinical Homecare and the Perinatal Institute were among the winners at the HSJ Partnership Awards 2020.


Cancer drugs unit’s water contaminated by legionella

Legionella and pseudomonas were found in water meant for hand washing in a unit where medicines for cancer patients were prepared, HSJ has learned.

Face mask

Trusts told not to stockpile amid coronavirus supply fears

The Department of Health and Social Care has told trusts not to stockpile products, amid growing concern over the impact of novel coronavirus on medical supplies.

Moorfields Eye Hospital

Trust in £2m legal battle with pharma company

A specialist trust is being sued for nearly £2m by a Luxembourgian pharmaceutical company over allegations of wrongdoing by the provider’s subsidiary company, HSJ can reveal.

Jeremy Hunt

Hunt tells Hancock to ‘use his magic’ to secure high cost drug approval

Former health secretary Jeremy Hunt has urged his successor to find a way to ensure patients can access a high cost drug which is subject to a legal challenge against the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.


Up to 100,000 on antipsychotics with no review

A national strategy is needed to tackle health risks linked to antipsychotic drugs because current policy is letting tens of thousands of people fall through the gaps, commissioners in London are warning.

Ipad/tablet computer with image of pills on

NHS use of e-prescribing can be a ‘risk to patient safety’

Poorly-implemented electronic prescribing systems in NHS hospitals are putting patients’ lives at risk, the NHS’s safety watchdog has warned.

Parliament, policy, politician, government

NHS England finally strikes deal for high value drug

A deal has been struck to make a life-extending cystic fibrosis drug available on the NHS for the first time.

Brexit bus

New Brexit plan worse for NHS than May’s deal, experts warn

The NHS will be exposed to more risk by the government’s latest Brexit deal than by Theresa May’s original agreement, health service experts and lobby groups have told HSJ.


Ministers confirm ban on some drug exports ahead of Brexit deadline

Ministers have confirmed plans for a ban on the export of certain medicines, starting with a group of 24 drugs including 19 hormone replacement therapy treatments, ahead of the no-deal Brexit deadline at the end of this month.

Jeremy Corbyn

Corbyn vows to create state-run drug company and seize patent rights

Jeremy Corbyn says a Labour government would create a state-run pharmaceutical company to make generic versions of drugs the NHS cannot afford.

Brexit puzzle

Exclusive: NHS chiefs want latest no-deal plans from government

NHS chiefs have urged ministers to publish their up-to-date plans for a no-deal Brexit, in the wake of the release of Project Yellowhammer documents.


Fears no-deal Brexit’s drugs stockpile could be sold off

Fresh concerns have been raised that drugs stockpiled for a no-deal Brexit could be sold off before the 31 October deadline unless ministers intervene.

Hospital corridor with gurneys-157533457

NHS faces legal action from ‘abandoned’ IV feed patients

The NHS and the national medical regulator could face legal action over the shortage of intravenous feed supplies for hundreds of UK patients, HSJ has learned.

Sir Andrew Dillon

Andrew Dillon to end his 20 year reign at NICE

Sir Andrew Dillon will step down as the chief executive of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence in March 2020 after more than 20 years in the role.


‘Smart’ pump overdoses spark national safety probe

A national safety investigation has been launched into the NHS’ use of so-called ‘smart pumps’ after three patients received an overdose of the powerful opioid fentanyl.

June Raine

Regulator announces interim CEO

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency has appointed an interim chief executive.