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Britain call on companies to bid for 24 hour Brexit medicines shipping service contract

The British Government is calling on logistics companies to bid for a £25 million contract to run express freight containers carrying daily shipments of medicines into the UK after the Brexit deadline on 31 October.

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said the contract would form part of the UK’s contingency plans to deal with complications associated with Britain’s departure from the EU.

NICE to review its decision making processes

Britain’s cost-effectiveness body NICE has said it will review the methods it uses to develop guidance on drugs, medical devices, and diagnostics.

The review will see NICE look at the processes through which its decisions are made. This will include looking at the way data analytics and real-world evidence can be used in the decision making process. Proposals will be presented for public consultation in the summer of 2020.  

GSK teams up with Strathclyde and University of Nottingham

GlaxoSmithKline has teamed up with the University of Nottingham and the University of Strathclyde for a five-year partnership aimed at promoting new medical research.

The £12.9 million project has received £5.5 million in funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (ESPRC).

The partnership will see the three organisations team up to use machine learning and AI to identify new medicines and make the production of medicines more environmentally friendly.  

GP appointments should be at least 15 minutes long by 2030, report argues

GP consultations should be five minutes longer, with 10 minute doctors’ appointments being a ‘thing of the past,’ according to a report from the Royal College of GPs (RCGP).

Britain has some of the shortest GP appointments in the world, with the average visit to the doctors lasting just 9.2 minutes. This is half the length of appointments in Sweden and the United States.

NICE recommends Eli Lilly's Verzenio in combination with Fulvestrant for breast cancer

Britain’s cost effectiveness body, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), has recommended Eli Lilly’s Verzenio (abemaciclib) in combination with Fulvestrant, for women with advanced breast cancer. The drug will be available to NHS patients through the Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF).

The treatment could be an option for as many as 4,800 women who have already had endocrine treatment for hormone receptor-positive, HER2-negative breast cancer which has spread to other parts of the body.

100,000 extra GP appointments to be made available in Gloucestershire as part of NHS Long Term Plan

GP practices in Gloucestershire are set to offer 100,000 more appointments for patients in the coming year. The initiative comes as part of the newly announced NHS Long Term Plan which will see billions invested into Britain’s healthcare system.

The move will be made possible as 75 GP practices across the English county will open up additional appointment slots during the daytime, weekends and evenings, through improved access initiatives.

EU rules may be stifling Britain's biotech industry

EU rules are stifling Britain’s biotech industry, according to companies who talked to British newspaper The Daily Telegraph.

The newspaper has reported that various sources have said that the government’s implementation of EU rules, regarding the grant funding criteria is hindering innovation.

The Daily Telegraph claims that it is aware of a number of cases in which the UK government’s start-up funding body, Innovate UK, has enforced the tougher EU rules over the ways in which grants and funding are allocated.

AbbVie sue NHS over hepatitis C drug procurement

American pharma firm AbbVie are suing Britain’s NHS after claiming that the health service’s procurement of hepatitis C drugs breached procurement rules.

AbbVie have claimed that the NHS failed in its duty to treat all bidders fairly after it launched the single largest procurement of medicines ever conducted by the NHS in spring of this year.

The procurement which was launched as part of an effort to lower the price of drugs for hepatitis C, saw NHS England offer three year contracts with the option of extension for an additional two years.

Wellcome Trust announces £250m fund for high risk ideas

Image Credit: Howard Luke

The London-based biomedical research charity the Wellcome Trust, Britain’s wealthiest foundation, has announced the launch of a new £250 million fund that will place “big bets” on ambitious research programmes aimed at fundamentally transforming science and health.

Remaining in the EU is vital for UK’s cancer research strength, say leading oncologists

Leading UK oncologists have written an article in the May issue of The Lancet, strongly urging Britain to remain in the EU as the alternative would severely damage cancer research and care.

They argue that the UK contributes substantially to EU cancer research funding, playing a central role in strengthening the research area as a whole, and benefits through research grants and by being involved in important multinational collaborations.

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