News on pharmaceuticals


Interim chief commercial officer chosen by NHS England

The NHS’ ‘chief negotiator with the pharmaceutical industry’ has been made interim chief commercial officer after the incumbent CCO left to head up Downing Street’s new delivery unit.

Marie Lyon

Group set up by govt review flags ‘culture of protect and deny’

A “systemic culture of protect and deny” in government means many more women and children will be harmed through poor care, according to the co-chair of an official patient group set up to review medical devices.

Vaccine syringe

NHSE confirms consultation on mandatory staff covid vaccination

The number of pharmacies delivering the covid-19 vaccination is set to more than double for the planned autumn booster campaign, new guidance states.

Front of Christie Hospital

Critical report on leading trust watered down ‘on an industrial scale’

Findings included in a draft report which were strongly critical of a prominent cancer trust were extensively deleted or softened before publication, HSJ has discovered.

Sir Andrew Dillon

‘Suboptimal’ relationship between NHS and pharma needs ‘urgent’ attention, says ex-NICE chief

The relationship between the NHS and the pharmaceutical sector is ‘suboptimal’ because of the misalignment of ‘ambitions, constraints and risk appetites’, according to former National Institute for Health and Care Excellence Sir Andrew Dillon.

The Christie NHS Foundation Trust

Multiple failings in trust’s handling of £20m Roche deal, leak reveals

Multiple failings have been identified in how a leading cancer trust entered into a £20m research partnership with a large pharmaceutical company, and how bosses then reacted to concerns raised by staff.

Vaccine syringe

Covid vaccine will be rolled out at ‘60pc of optimum capacity’ during first week

The covid-19 vaccine will be delivered at almost half of planned capacity when the vaccination programme is rolled out tomorrow, according to new national guidance.

Vaccine syringe

NHS England reveals community pharmacies’ role in covid vax effort

Selected community pharmacies will provide up to 1,000 coronavirus vaccines each week, in addition to those provided by general practice and mass centres, according to an NHS England letter.

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.