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Government to set up express freight service for medicines in case of no-deal Brexit

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) plans to spend £3 million on emergency transport solutions for medicines in the case of a no-deal Brexit.

The Government has said it wants to hire an “express freight service” to transport medicines, blood and transplant tissue in the case of a no-deal Brexit.

“DHSC intends to run a procurement exercise to secure access to express parcel services between continental Europe and the United Kingdom (import and export), for the movement of parcel consignments of health care products,” the Government said.

US Government awarded new patent on preventative HIV drugs PrEP

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has been awarded a new patent on drugs that prevent HIV.

The US Patent office has awarded the US government a patent on drugs derived from HIV drug Tenofovir that inhibit the transmission of HIV.

The new patent may reignite a dispute between the government and PrEP drugmaker Gilead over the rights to PrEP drug Truvada and its successor Descovy.

In May 2019, campaigners called on the government to enforce the CDC’s patents on the use of Truvada as a preventative treatment for HIV.

Two thirds of MPs believe NHS should spend less on medicines

Nearly two thirds (64%) of MPs believe the NHS should direct more resources towards prevention, over funding for new treatments, according to a poll of 100 parliamentarians.

The report suggests MPs support the vision set out in the NHS Long Term Plan – a plan through which the government intends to spend less on medicines as they shift focus towards preventative care.

Opioid crisis cost US government nearly $38 billion in lost taxes

The opioid epidemic may have cost US state and federal governments as much as $37.8 billion in lost tax revenue, according to researchers from Pennsylvania State University.

Opioid related loss of employment cost the government billions in lost tax revenue between the years 2000 and 2016, the research says.

The state of Pennsylvania was found to be one of the biggest losers, having lost around $638.2 million in income and sales taxes, the study published in the journal Medical Care says.

Novartis must face kickback allegations in court

The US government has accused Novartis of paying doctors millions of dollars in kickbacks as part of a “company-wide kickback scheme.”

The Swiss multinational must fight the allegations in court after District Judge Paul Gardephe ruled that the company has to face a trial.

The US Judge also rejected the Swiss firm’s bid to keep key government evidence out of the case while ruling that the government does not have to prove a direct ‘quid pro quo’ agreement between Novartis and doctors, in order for the company to be liable.

Government appoints health minister from firm trying to win NHS contracts

The British Government has come under fire over the appointment of former Tory MP, Nicola Blackwood, as a junior minister in the Department of Health and Social Care, after it was revealed that she had previously sat on the governance board of a company hoping to be contracted by the NHS.

Government unveils £20bn plan to revitalise NHS in England

Image Credit: Kuhlmann / MSC

Theresa May and the chief executive of NHS England, Simon Stevens, have announced a new ten year plan for the NHS. It is hoped that the long term plan, which is focused on prevention and early detection, may save up to 500,000 lives.

In essence the plan will give an additional £20 billion to the NHS in England by 2023/24. The additional £20 billion cash injection will be spread out over five years up until 2023/24 representing a 3.4% increase year on year. 

NICE appoints experienced pharma consultant as Director of NICE Scientific Advice

Published on: 07/11/18

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has appointed Jeanette Kusel as Director of NICE Scientific Advice. The Cambridge graduate, an experienced health technology evaluation consultant, will take over from Leeza Osipenko, who has held the position since 2014.

Digital system may prevent £300m prescription fraud losses for NHS by 2020

The British government are launching a new digitised system aimed at cracking down on prescription fraud in the NHS. However pharmacists are warning that the new system may cause a loss in patient trust.

Government publishes no-deal Brexit guidance, health secretary tells pharma companies to stockpile medicines

The British Government has published a document offering guidance as to what should be expected in the case of a no-deal Brexit.  

The document notes that “If there’s no deal, the UK’s participation in the European regulatory network would cease”. Equally the UK would immediately leave the EU in March 2019 without a transition period. In crashing out of the European Union the UK’s pharmaceutical industry would likely experience significant disruption.

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