WHO study highlights new medicines affordability issues in Europe

Increasing numbers of new medicines in Europe are causing affordability issues for governments according to a new study released today by the WHO Regional Office for Europe. The WHO study demonstrates the extent of the problem by highlighting the fact that few countries in the WHO European Region have structures in place to evaluate the cost–effectiveness of new drugs, which in turn impacts the value assessment and decision-making process. The report, ‘Access to new medicines in Europe:... Readmore

Department of Health announces £3 million funding for stem cell services

Three million pounds of funding to help improve stem cell services in the UK has been announced by the Department of Health (DH). The funding pledge, in support of a partnership between NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) and blood cancer charity Anthony Nolan, has been made to provide extra help for patients with leukaemia and other life-threatening blood disorders. The £3m announced by the Mr Freeman means that £19m has been invested in stem cell services since 2010. “This funding is vital... Readmore

New vaccination lowers pneumonia incidence among elderly people

Researchers at University Medical Center (UMC) of Utrecht have discovered a vaccine that lowers incidents of pneumonia among elderly people. The research, carried out among 85,000 Dutch subjects over the age of 65, the research reveals that vaccination halves the number of hospitalisations. The ‘Community-acquired pneumonia immunization Trial in Adults’ - CAPiTA – studied the effect of vaccine PCV13, which targets 13 strains of Streptococcus pneumoniae, the main cause of pneumonia. “It... Readmore

NICE’s new drugs cost-effectiveness ‘threshold’ too high claims new research

The ‘threshold’ used by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) when scoping the cost-effectiveness of new drugs is “too high” claim researchers at the University of York. Currently, NICE utilises a threshold of £30,000 per Quality Adjusted Life Year (QALY is a widely used measure of health that combines length and quality of life) to measure whether the health benefits offered by a new drug are greater than the health likely to be lost because the additional resources... Readmore

MHRA appoints chair of new Devices Expert Advisory Committee

Dr Peter Nightingale has been appointed as chairman of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency’s (MHRA) Devices Expert Advisory Committee (DEAC). The DEAC has been formed following an independent review on MHRA access to clinical advice and engagement with the clinical community. It will be responsible for providing independent, expert strategic advice to the agency in support of its role to ensure that medical devices are acceptably safe and are used both safely and effectively. Dr... Readmore

MHRA issues warning on GcMAF

The Medicine and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) have issued a warning to people who may have purchased an unlicensed medicine called GcMAF - labelled as ‘First Immune’ - from an online website or other unregulated sources. GcMAF (Globulin component Macrophage Activating Factor) is a blood product which claims to treat a range of conditions including cancer, HIV and autism. During an unannounced inspection by MHRA investigators of a production site in Milton, Cambridgeshire,... Readmore

New European project gets set to revitalise antibiotic development

 Thirty-three European academic partners and five pharmaceutical companies have joined forces to launch a new €167 million project -COMBACTE-MAGNET – as part of the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) antimicrobial resistance research programme (New Drugs 4 Bad Bugs (ND4BB)). Overseen by the University Medical Center Utrecht, it is envisaged that COMBACTE-MAGNET will bring highly innovative studies and activities related to prevention and treatment of infections caused by multi-drug resistant... Readmore

Department of Health proposes new pharmacy standards

The Department of Health has put forward proposals which would give a new defence against criminal prosecution for pharmacy professionals should they make a dispensing error. The proposals are contained within a consultation (due to run until 14 May 2015) which will also gauge the opinion of pharmacy professionals, patients, the public and stakeholders as to changes to the regulation of pharmacy premises. The proposals are UK-wide and have been developed by a multi-disciplinary Board drawn... Readmore

Pharmacy-led clinic launched to help take pressure off A&E

The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust in Greater Manchester has partnered with LloydsPharmacy to trial an innovative new pharmacy-led clinic at its North Manchester General accident and emergency department which sees over 100,000 patients each year. With figures suggesting that around one in four people who visit the A&E department at North Manchester General Hospital could be treated more appropriately by a pharmacist or another local NHS service, the LloydsPharmacy First Care Clinic pilot... Readmore

NPA launches flu vaccination programme for 2012 13

Pharmacists have been offered the opportunity to gain expert practical training as part of the National Pharmacy Association’s (NPA) flu vaccination programme for 2012-13. Launching the programme, Deborah Evans, Director of Pharmacy at the NPA, said: “It is important that pharmacists have face to face practical training from expert trainers to learn how to vaccinate, deal with anaphylaxis and perform resuscitation. “They can ask questions, practice their technique all under the watchful... Readmore

Value-Based Pricing new approach illustrates the road ahead

The Pharmaceutical Price Regulation Scheme (PPRS), due to expire in 2014, will be replaced by a new Value-based Pricing (VBP) approach designed to stimulate innovation in treatments, Andrew Lansley announced this week at the annual NICE conference. The rationale for such a move is multifactorial but firmly aligned with changes to our commissioning approach too, providing insight for clinical teams, not just R & D pharmaceutical companies. Under the new scheme, still to be fleshed out in terms... Readmore
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