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NEWS IN BRIEF: RPS on Carter Review; NHS Savings Doubts; Retrophin; Jeremy Hunt; Winter Pressure; Zika


11 Feb 2016

Royal Pharmaceutical Society respond to the Carter Review

Commenting on the report Sandra Gidley, RPS English Pharmacy Board chair, said:

“We agree completely that increased input from hospital pharmacists, working in teams with doctors, nurses and all other health care professionals, will improve patient outcomes, reduce waste, improve prescribing decisions and reduce avoidable harm.

“We support the increased role of hospital pharmacists within clinical teams, and see much merit in learning from the best and applying this across all NHS Trusts.

“For pharmacists working in procurement, manufacturing, dispensing and other roles labelled as “infrastructure” in this report, there will naturally be concern that this report describes the potential for outsourcing as well as local national and regional collaborative models to reduce costs and drive efficiency.

“Balanced against this the report recognises the importance of the so-called “infrastructure” functions and there is a clear message of investment in clinical, patient facing hospital pharmacists, significantly this is recommended in all NHS Trusts.”

Doubts cloud £22bn NHS savings goal as productivity falls for the third year

Productivity in NHS hospitals has fallen for the third year running, according to official data that will intensify the debate over whether the service can survive in its current form without more funding, the Financial Times reports.

The research, carried out for the Financial Times by the Health Foundation, highlights the lengths to which the health services must go to reach its target of saving £22bn a year by 2020 – even as it enjoys one of the few inflation-protected budgets in Whitehall.

The analysis comes as junior doctors yesterday piled pressure on Jeremy Hunt, health secretary, by striking for 24 hours ans withdrawing all but emergency cover in a row over contracts.

Imprimis Pharma to make cheaper alternative to Retrophin’s Thiola

Compounding pharmacy Imprimis Pharmaceuticals Inc said on Wednesday it plans to make a cheaper alternative to Retrophin Inc’s kidney stone drug, Thiola, Reuters reports.

Retrophin, under former Chief Executive Martin Shkreli, raised the price of the drug from $1.50 to $30 per tablet after buying the rights from Mission Pharmacal Co in 2014, Imprimis said.

After Shkreli’s departure, the price of Thiola still remains high, Imprimis said.

The drug treats cystinuria, an inherited disease that causes stones made of the amino acid, cystine, in the kidneys, bladder or urethra.

Imprimis said its compounded alternative may reduce the cost of the drug by more than 70 percent and will be available to patients in April.

Jeremy Hunt set to impose new contract on junior doctors Jeremy Hunt is expected to announce that talks to settle the junior doctors dispute have failed and a new contract will be imposed on from 1 August, The Guardian reports. The health secretary will deliver a statement to the Commons at around midday on Thursday after the government failed to reach a deal with the British Medical Association (BMA). A deadline to accept the deal passed over Wednesday night. The government’s chief negotiator, Sir David Dalton, earlier warned this would mean talks had reached “the end of the road”. Thousands of doctors returned to work on Thursday after staging a second 24-hour strike across England as part of the deadlock over pay and working conditions.

NHS winter pressure ‘at risk of becoming the norm all year round’

High pressure on hospitals, typically associated with the winter months, is at risk of becoming the norm all year round for the NHS in England, the Independent reports.

The study by the Nuffield Trust and Health Foundation think-tanks found long waits at A&E and slower ambulance response times were becoming increasingly common in the summer months.

In summer last year, for example, there were more trolley waits – defined as a delay of between four and 12 hours between an A&E doctor’s decision to admit a patient and finding that patient a bed – than in any of the four winters prior to 2014/15.

Zika virus in UK: Four cases of bug that could harm unborn babies in Britain, health watchdog reveals Four cases of the Zika virus have been confirmed in the UK, Public Health England has said, The Telegraph reports. Dr Dilys Morgan told a committee of MPs in Westminster that the four cases were “travel associated” and not thought to have been contracted in Britain. The infected people have been identified in the last six weeks.


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