The Royal Pharmaceutical Society have produced a consultation document on polypharmacy. The report considers problematic polypharmacy and outlines the size of the challenge, highlights good practice and makes recommendations to tackle the problem. The draft professional guidance is open for consultation until 28 August 2018.
The International Longevity Centre – UK (a think tank, part of the International Longevity Centre Global Alliance) have produced an economic analysis of the English flu vaccination programme. The report presents findings from a new economic model of the costs and benefits from flu vaccination in England using recent efficacy data. It introduces a conservative, static model which provides a partial cost-benefit analysis of vaccination under various scenarios. Amongst the findings it is reported that the flu vaccination averts between 180,000 and 626,000 cases of influenza per year in England and costs £50,610 per death averted.
The Office of Health Economics (OHE) have published a research report on the economic implications of moving away from paying a single price for a single drug. The report looks at the short and long term implications of moving away from a single-price model toward indication-based pricing (or similar)and uses two classes of cancer drugs as an example.
NHS England have launched a consultation on a programme to reduce the delivery of clinically ineffective interventions. The consultation document has been published by NHS England, NHS Clinical Commissioners, the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, NHS Improvement and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. The proposal is to reduce the volume of procedures performed for seventeen specific types of intervention. Amongst the interventions included in the proposal are interventions for snoring, knee arthroscopy for osteoarthritis, haemorrhoid surgery and varicose vein surgery.
The Office of Health Economics have published a consulting report on ‘Quality of life in long-term cancer survivors: implications for future Health Technology Assessments in oncology‘. The report considers if there is evidence to support the assumption that the quality of life of long-term cancer survivors is similar to that of age/sex matched population samples.
The Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe) have produced a briefing on the regulation and governance of medical devices in Scotland. The briefing describes the current framework governing medical devices, has case studies of high profile cases (poly implant prothèse breast implants, metal-on-metal hip implants and urogynaecological mesh implants), and looks ahead to the UK’s anticipated departure from the EU regulatory framework following Brexit.
The National Audit Office have released a report on their investigation into NHS spending on generic medicines in primary care. The report is concerned with NHS England and investigates why in 2017 the prices of certain medicines purchased by pharmacies for the NHS increased unexpectedly. In 2017-18 the net spend on the affected medicines totalled an estimated £315 million, seven times greater than the equivalent spend in 2016-17, with the costs of certain medicines increasing tenfold.