News on pharmaceuticals

Nicola blackwood 3x2

Minister announces new national innovation 'unit'

A new national “unit” is being established, with its own “chief executive”, to oversee innovation and medicines, the Department of Health and Social Care has announced.

Contract 3x2

Legal action firm among winners for largest medicines procurement

Three pharmaceutical companies – including one which took NHS England to court over the design of a billion-pound tender – have been awarded contracts to supply drugs as part of a bid to eradicate hepatitis C by 2025.


CCGs could face fresh pressures to fund costly drug

Clinical commissioning groups could face renewed pressure to fund an expensive thyroid drug under NHS England revised guidance, due to be published shortly.

IV drip with money inside

Regulator criticised for 'unbelievably arrogant' approval process

Patient groups have called NHS England “unbelievably arrogant” for failing to listen to patients during drug funding reviews.


DHSC sets up hotline for Brexit disruption to supplies

NHS suppliers have been told to contact a new 24/7 call centre run by the Department of Health and Social Care if they experience disruption to their deliveries following a no-deal Brexit.

Truvada prep hiv

Councils seek NHS funding to cover drug trial pressures

Councils in London are seeking additional funding from NHS England to help deal with cost pressures arising from trials for an HIV drug.


CCGs under strain again from generic drug prices

The number of generic drugs being sold above national tariff rose to its highest rate in over two years at the start of 2019, despite national efforts to cut this number.

Steve Field

Steve Field: Digital GPs overseas remain a danger

Regulators and policymakers are at a loss for how to stop people accessing dangerous medicines using online services overseas, the outgoing chief inspector of GPs has said.

Brexit puzzle

Exclusive: DHSC creates Brexit 'logistics hub' in Belgium

The Department of Health and Social Care has set up a “logistics hub” in Belgium and plans to manage its own dedicated shipping route from mainland Europe to the UK for vital medical products, as part of no-deal preparations, HSJ can reveal.


Trust warns of 'increased pharmacy burglary risk' in no-deal Brexit

Hospitals have warned that a no deal Brexit could put their pharmacies at increased risk of burglary, as concerns about drug shortages mount.

Brexit bus

NHS England to go on Brexit 'tour' of trusts

NHS England will conduct a “rolling tour” of NHS providers to ensure everyone is “geared up” for a possible no-deal Brexit.


No-deal Brexit threat forces hospitals to set up 'clinical prioritisation' taskforce

A major teaching hospital is putting plans in place to prioritise which patients to treat if a no-deal Brexit causes critical shortages in drugs and/or medical devices.

Law legal   Barristers wigs

NHS England wins legal dispute over largest medicines procurement

NHS England has seen off a legal challenge to its largest ever medicines procurement, which is aimed at acquiring drugs to help eliminate hepatitis C in the country by 2025.

Woman smoking

Council ceases NHS-provided smoking cessation service

The third largest London borough will discontinue its NHS-provided stop smoking service to save money.

Lord oshaughnessy

Health minister steps down

Health minister Lord O’Shaughnessy has resigned from his post as Parliamentary under secretary of state in the House of Lords for family reasons.

drugs pills tablets

Generic drug prices 'surging' again as Brexit looms

The prices of certain generic drugs are “seeing another surge” which could have a significant impact on the finances of NHS commissioners, a pharmacy body has warned.

Woman's hands writing out a prescription

CCGs fear patients will stockpile drugs ahead of Brexit

Multiple clinical commissioning groups have raised concerns that patients will start stockpiling medicines and costs will rise if a Brexit deal is not confirmed soon.

Sir hugh taylor

Ministers must support 'innovation rich NHS' post-Brexit

A former Department of Health and Social Care permanent secretary has called on the government to put more emphasis on an “innovation rich and technology rich NHS” in order to maintain “a really vibrant life sciences industry” post Brexit.


New pharma deal raises cap on drugs' spending

The government has negotiated a new deal with the pharmaceutical industry which raises the NHS’ cap on spending on branded medicines.


New patient safety requirement for trusts after Gosport scandal

NHS trusts must report annually on how they have dealt with staff concerns over patient safety, under new legislation proposed by the Department of Health and Social Care.

Dr Ian Hudson

CEO of UK medicines' regulator to step down

The chief executive of the UK’s medicine regulator is to leave his post in September 2019, six months after the UK is due to leave the European Union.

3002939 surgery equipment surgeon theatre

Trusts could be told to stockpile equipment ahead of Brexit

NHS providers could be asked to stockpile certain types of products under government plans to mitigate the UK leaving the EU without an agreed deal.


NHS England taken to court over 'largest ever medicines procurement'

A global pharmaceutical company has taken the NHS to court over a procurement process aimed to help England become the first country to eliminate hepatitis C.

Matt Hancock 1 3X2

Brexit: Ministers launch 'tens of millions' bid to stockpile medicine

Ministers have launched a tender worth “tens of millions” of pounds to provide extra storage capacity in the event of the UK crashing out of the EU without a deal.

Contract business

NHSI to require business cases for subsidiary companies

NHS providers must submit a business case to show setting up a wholly owned subsidiary company yields value beyond VAT savings, under new proposals from NHS Improvement.

Clinical waste

Exclusive: Trusts alerted as firm stockpiles clinical waste and body parts

Hundreds of tonnes of human body parts and dangerous waste from NHS patients has been stockpiled by a leading disposal company, sparking a major national incident.

pharma pills medicine

Exclusive: No-deal Brexit 'will force up price of generic drugs'

The price of generic drugs could be forced up in the case of a no-deal Brexit, HSJ understands from senior industry sources.

Royal courts of justice

NHS wins landmark legal battle against drug companies

The NHS has today won a landmark legal battle against two international pharmaceutical giants which could save the health service hundreds of millions of pounds a year.

Bitter pill

712 unnecessary deaths – and how to avoid them: HSJ and BD roundtable

An HSJ roundtable, sponsored by BD, looked at how to reduce medication errors, improving outcomes for patients and reducing waste from unused or unnecessary medicines.


Pharma says government must act quickly to safeguard generic drugs supply

Pharmaceutical industry leaders have warned the government needs to be “fleet of foot” to avoid a significant cost if a no-deal Brexit disrupts approval of generic and biosimilar medicines.