LONDON, 24 Aug (APM) - Hospitals are in danger of running out of drugs in a chaotic no-deal Brexit, National Health Service Trusts have warned privately, The Times reported on Tuesday.
Ministers and health service bosses have been accused of failing to prepare adequately for the potential failure to strike a Brexit deal by NHS Providers, the association of NHS trusts.
Chris Hopson, the group’s chief executive, said that “in the event of a no-deal or hard Brexit”, on the first day outside the EU “the entire supply chain of pharmaceuticals could be adversely affected”. He added: “Public health and disease control coordination could also suffer and our efforts to reassure, retain and attract the European workforce on which the NHS relies could also be jeopardised.”
The warning was conveyed in a letter sent a week ago to Simon Stevens, the chief executive of NHS England, and Ian Dalton, chief executive of NHS Improvement. The letter was leaked to The Times.
Hopson attacked the inadequate planning for a bad Brexit outcome by both bodies. “As we approach March 2019 the risk that the UK will be facing a no-deal situation in the Brexit negotiations or a ‘hard Brexit’ with minimal regulatory alignment appears to be growing,” he wrote.
“For as long as that risk remains it is important that detailed operation planning is undertaken across the NHS. Yet trusts tell us that their work in this area is being hampered by the lack of visible and appropriate communication.
UK’s ‘no-deal’ Brexit plans to include following EU regulation
The UK government's upcoming papers on how it would handle a ‘no-deal’ Brexit include steps for its drugs regulator to “keep market access for importers open to avoid disruption”, an industry source told The Telegraph.
The source had seen several of the 84 papers - which are due to be published on Thursday - according to the British newspaper on Saturday.
It noted that the UK would recognise some EU regulations in the event of a no-deal Brexit, and that provisions set out in the papers include those for medicines which are made in the EU.
'Exciting' combination for cancer
An ”exciting” new cancer drug combination appears to shrink tumours and halt their growth for months, according to an early-stage clinical trial which could mean months of extra life for patients, The Independent reported on Wednesday.
UK researchers have hailed the promising results from giving two chemotherapy drugs, vistusertib and paclitaxel, in tandem for late-stage cancers which have become resistant to conventional treatments.
Though tests are in their early stages and were set up to check safety rather than survival, the trial found over half of patients with ovarian cancer and 35% of those with lung cancer saw their cancers shrink by at least a third.
The team, led by the Institute of Cancer Research in London and the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, also found the cocktail stopped tumours growing for an average of 5.8 months.
They tested the drug combination on 25 women with high-grade serous ovarian cancer and 40 patients with squamous non-small cell lung cancer.
All those involved in the study, which was published in Annals of Oncology journal, had advanced cancers and for each patient standard treatment had failed.
Professor Udai Banerji, deputy director of the drug development unit at the Institute of Cancer Research and the Royal Marsden, said: “We combined chemotherapy with a targeted drug which blocks the way cancer cells react to treatment in order to survive.
Bayer reports rise in legal cases linked to weedkiller
Bayer said it has seen an increase in U.S. legal cases linked to its best-selling weedkillers, Roundup and and Ranger Pro, following a landmark California ruling earlier this month that found the glyphosate-containing products caused cancer, the FT reported on Thursday. (APMHE 59300
The German group said it is aware of at least 8,000 plaintiffs in U.S. State and Federal courts, up from 5,200 earlier this year. Bayer said on Thursday it would vigorously defend the California case and that there was no sign of an impact on sales.
In a research note published earlier this week, analysts at Berenberg estimated the group’s potential liability at $3.8 billion.
Its shares fell last week to a five-year low of €75.50, from €93.60 before the California verdict.