News on pharmaceuticals

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Lord Darzi appointed chair of new innovation panel

Former health minister Lord Darzi has been appointed chair of a new innovation panel which will choose which “transformative” medical products should be fast tracked into the NHS.

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Minister: 'We got it wrong on Hep C drug'

A health minister said the NHS needs to be better prepared for the budget impact of new medicines such as the oral drug for Hepatitis C, and admitted “we didn’t get it right”.

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Winners revealed for HSJ Value Awards 2018

Twenty organisations have been honoured in the 2018 HSJ Value Awards – which recognise and celebrate outstanding improvements in care quality and efficiency made by NHS staff.

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NHS hit by seven-fold increase in bill for certain drugs

NHS commissioners were hit by a seven-fold increase in the bill for certain generic drugs in 2017-18, after some medicines were subject to massive price hikes.

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Safety concerns over 'Deliveroo type' pharmacy app

Doctors have raised concerns over the safety of a “Deliveroo type” pharmacy app that has been supported by NHS England and NHS Digital.

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Contractor suing NHS England claims rival's bid was 'abnormally low'

NHS England is being sued by a clinical waste disposal contractor that claims it wrongly awarded a contract to a rival that submitted an unrealistically low bid.

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Associates set for at least half the training hours of registered nurses

Nursing associates must receive at least half the hours of training expected of registered nurses, under newly published regulatory draft standards.

Paul Baumann

CCGs on course for £687m deficit

Clinical commissioning groups are on course to overspend their total budget by £687m at the end of 2017-18, while the overall commissioning system will balance its books, NHS England has said.

lord oshaughnessy

Life sciences forum launched by HSJ

HSJ has launched its first event for the life sciences sector.

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Nearly half of online health providers 'not safe', CQC warns

The Care Quality Commission has found nearly half of online primary care companies are not safe, but said the sector had still improved dramatically in the past year.

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Drugs switch saves NHS £170m in 10 months

The NHS is estimated to have saved £170m in the first 10 months of this financial year by switching to cheaper versions of just three drugs.

Norman Lamb

MPs challenge medical leaders over flu vaccine concerns

The Commons science and technology committee has challenged medical leaders over last year’s national flu vaccination programme.

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Children ‘at risk’ as STP ignores guidance on gluten free foods

Children, pensioners and low income families may be at risk because an STP is ignoring government guidance on commissioning gluten free foods, a senior health leader has warned.

Janet davies

Medicines rules for nursing associates ‘not sufficient’

The Royal College of Nurses has branded guidance published by Health Education England for the administration of medicines by nursing associates as “not sufficient”.

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Government interrogates prices to stymie £200m-plus drugs overspend

Government has begun intensively monitoring new information on the generic drug market to try to stymie additional costs which are running into hundreds of millions of pounds, HSJ has been told.

Jeremy Hunt

Hunt launches bid to reduce medication error deaths

Jeremy Hunt has launched a bid to reduce medication errors in the NHS, which new research says costs the NHS over 181,000 bed days and causes hundreds of deaths.


Trust to change medicine policies to be 'legally compliant'

An ambulance trust has admitted it needs to change its medicines management to be “legally compliant”, including withdrawing a potentially life saving drug from volunteers.


Four trusts looking into pharmacy joint venture

Trusts in Berkshire and Surrey are looking at creating a pharmacy joint venture modelled on their existing pathology service.

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NHS England moves to clear up flu vaccine confusion

NHS England has moved to try to clear up confusion over flu vaccines for next winter, following concerns that a better approach last year could have reduced pressure in hospitals.


Trust expects to miss control total deficit by £30m

A south eastern trust is predicting a deficit worth over £56m – more than double its original plan and 15 per cent of its total income – after being hit by lower elective income and losing a payments dispute with local commissioners.

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Exclusive: CCGs across region refuse to commission flu antivirals

Clinical leaders across three sustainability and transformation partnerships are defying public health guidelines and refusing to commission flu antivirals, HSJ can reveal.


Exclusive: NHS England vaccine advice 'increased risk of flu admissions'

More patients may have been admitted to hospital with flu this winter after NHS England asked GPs to order a less expensive flu vaccine, a senior doctor has warned.

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CCGs facing 'significant financial risk' after generic drug price surge

Clinical commissioning groups are facing “significant financial risk” this financial year due to supply issues pushing up the prices they have to pay for generic drugs.


'Real risk of deaths' without national level e-prescribing changes

A national electronic prescribing system used in the treatment of millions of people needs to make changes to prevent patient deaths, a coroner has said.


High Court rejects pharma industry's challenge to drug cost controls

The High Court has thrown out a legal challenge by the drugs industry to a controversial affordability test on the introduction of new treatments.


Nine trusts plan pharma network to save £17m

Nine acute trusts are collaborating on a pharmaceutical network that could achieve efficiency savings estimated at more than £17m.

Jackie Smith

NMC: All graduate nurses should be ready to prescribe

Nurses could be able to prescribe medication “much sooner” in their careers than they currently can under plans being consulted on by the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

Data protection

CCG and ICO probe pharmacy firm's access to patient details

A clinical commissioning group and the Information Commissioner are looking into concerns raised by a patient that a major online pharmacy has gained access to patients’ details to send out marketing material.


NHS England 'unethical' to propose withdrawing life changing drug

NHS England has been accused of being “totally unethical” after proposing to stop paying for a thyroid drug that is the “difference between living properly and not doing so” for patients.


'Dysfunctional' NHS England project damages UK reputation, say health tech firms

An organisation representing health technology firms has claimed a “dysfunctional” NHS England project is denying patients access to “life changing” treatment.