MHRA consultation launched

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has launched a formal public consultation on the consolidation of UK medicines legislation, to simplify and clarify the law for regulating medicine.

Draft regulations will be tested to ensure they are accurate, user-friendly and do not introduce any unintended changes. This forms part of the MHRA’s Regulatory Excellence programme, which aims to keep legislation fit for purpose and reflecting modern practice.

MHRA chief executive, Sir Kent Woods, said: “Medicines legislation which has been amended many times over several decades can be greatly simplified by consolidation. The current need for this has received widespread support from both pharmacists and the pharmaceutical industry.

“It will amalgamate 40 years’ of outdated and fragmented legislation, reducing it by around two thirds, making it clearer and easier to understand as well as ensuring that medicines regulation is supported by a modern and straightforward legal framework.”

The Association of British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) chief executive, Stephen Whitehead, said: “The ABPI welcomes this opportunity to contribute to providing clearer legislation and encourages our members to actively participate in the consultation.”

The Proprietary Association of Great Britain director of legal and regulatory affairs, Helen Darracott, also commented: “The work to consolidate the complex UK medicines legislation is very much welcomed by the over-the-counter medicines industry.

“We look forward to engaging in the consultation to deliver a more concise and simplified legal text that is clear, meaningful and user-friendly to work with.”

The finalised consolidated legislation is due to come into force in July 2012. You can contribute to the consultation at www.mhra.gov.uk

NHS managers could face removal

The Health Secretary Andrew Lansley has warned NHS managers that they will be removed and replaced if they fail to meet the foundation trust deadline in 2014.

There are still 69 remaining acute hospital trusts yet to become clinically and financially stable in order to gain foundation trust status, and the rate at which hospitals achieve authorisation has slowed since 2008/9. Only 14 foundation trusts have been authorised since the end of 2009.

Last month, the Department of Health said that up to 36 trusts that could need access to £376m in government loans in order to stabilise and become foundation trusts.

Lansley told an audience of policy makers, NHS experts and private healthcare executives: “Sometimes, the problem rests with a hospital's management team – unable to take the difficult decisions needed to turn things around.

“For them, I have a stark warning. If your hospitals are not there by the time you say, you're not getting there at all. The secretary of state has the power to remove and replace management teams that fail to deliver, and I will not hesitate to use that power if needed.”

Author's Bio: 

Roy Rowlands writes for National Health Executive an essential guide to health service managers offering a wide view of healthcare news views and opinions