In this week’s news, ABPI and AHSN want NHS to adopt new drugs, DCAT looks at ‘no-deal’ Brexit impact for pharma, NI aims to improve access to cancer meds, and more…

Industry teams with NHS to encourage uptake of innovative meds

The ABPI has partnered with the NHS’ Academic Health Science Networks to try and encourage uptake of innovative drugs and therapies by the UK’s public health services.

The five-year partnership will see the industry group work with the AHSN to “identify and collaborate on projects to accelerate the spread of proven innovation in the NHS.”

The ABPI cited the Greater Manchester Pharmaceutical Industry Partnership as a model for the accord, explaining it has resulted in three projects in Hepatitis C, COPD and mental health in its first year of operation.

DCAT warns pharma of dangers of a no-deal Brexit

The looming prospect of a no-deal Brexit should be a concern for the pharmaceutical industry, particularly in relation to drug approvals, according to DCAT.

The warning came in an editorial from the US Drug, Chemical and Associated Technologies Association last week. The article highlighted the divergence of the UK’s regulatory framework as one of the potential changes likely to have greatest impact on drug manufacturers.

The article explains that, if the UK crashes out of the EU without a deal, all EMA authorizations granted to drugs will need to be converted into MHRA authorizations otherwise the products cannot be sold in the UK.

“Marketing authorization holders will have a period of time from exit day to provide the MHRA with baseline data for CAPs that are converted into UK marketing authorizations.”

Read more here.

NI health Dept. aims to improve access to cancer meds

The Northern Ireland department of health says it plans to bring access to cancer treatments in line with other parts of the UK.

The organisation announced the initiative this month, explaining it is designed to improve and accelerate access to cancer treatments in Norther Ireland.

It said, “Drugs approved by NICE for use through the Cancer Drug Fund in England will now be considered in line with existing arrangements for NI endorsement of NICE recommendations and be equally accessible here.”

The plan coincides with the publication of data on cancer referrals and treatment in the region.

US drug plants temporarily shut down by hurricane Florence back online

Most manufacturing facilities in North Carolina and neighbouring states stuck by hurricane Florence last week have resumed production according to various reports.

GSK, Pfizer, Novartis and Novo Nordisk all say their plants in the region are back online according to Fierce Pharma, which pointed out the reactivation of the Pfizer sites in particular is good news for the supply of injectable drugs.

One exception is Merck & Co, which told the publication that as of last Monday its facilities in Wilson, North Carolina and Durham, North Carolina were offline over concerns about a risk of flash flooding in the area.

US FDA outlines details of product ID requirements

The US FDA has shared details of its expectations for product ID numbers in several draft guidance documents published last week.

The documents cover various aspects of the unique product identifiers that must be present on the package of each pharmaceutical product under the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA).

In addition to detailing the identifier requirements, the FDA also provided information on how manufacturers should handle products made prior to the DSCSA being enacted and a general Q&A document.

Also in the news

STAT took a look at how the Hong Kong stock exchange has reacted to the floatation of a number of Chinese biotechnology companies in recent months.

Sanofi plans to refocus its business operations according to CPhI Online.

Propublica has put together a guide for patients interested in taking part in clinical trials.