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Good Law Project threaten Department of Health over failure to consult properly

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Roy Trevelion
BHIVA Reps
Posts: 332
Good Law Project threaten Department of Health over failure to consult properly
Posted on: February 25 2019, 11:14 am

In The Pharmaceutical Journal on 21 FEB 2019 Carolyn Wickware reported the following:

The Good Law Project has warned the Department of Health and Social Care that it will start judicial review proceedings if serious shortage protocol powers are not revoked on the grounds that the consultation was “insufficient and unlawful”.

This non-profit group has threatened the government with legal action unless it revokes new powers designed to allow pharmacists to switch patients’ medicines if there is a shortage.


https://www.pharmaceutical-journal.com/news-and-analysis/news/ministers-threatened-with-judicial-review-over-unlawful-consultation-on-prescription-switching-protocols/20206199.article?firstPass=false&amp%3Bqid=368278

Amendments to the Human Medicines Regulation 2012, which came into force on 9 February 2019, mean the government can now issue protocols asking pharmacists to respond to a medicines shortage in one of four ways:
• to dispense a reduced quantity,
• a therapeutic equivalent,
• a generic equivalent or
• an alternative dosage form of the drug.

In a legal document sent on 19 February 2019 from the group’s lawyers to the Department of Health and Social Care to inform them of their intent to start the review proceedings, the Good Law Project said it was “unclear exactly who the Secretary of State consulted with and how/on what basis”.

It added: “The failure to consult properly with organisations representing specific patient interests was unlawful.”

Deborah Gold, Chief Executive of NAT (National AIDS Trust) said: “We are deeply concerned that these changes were made without proper consultation. Prescribing HIV medication is a complex process which must take account of a multitude of factors. The only person qualified to safely alter the medication prescribed to a person living with HIV is that person’s HIV consultant.”

• The Pre Action Protocol Letter can be seen here: https://jolyonmaugham.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/finalassent.pdf
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Ben Cromarty
Member
Posts: 451
Re: Good Law Project threaten Department of Health over failure to consult properly
Reply #1 on: February 26 2019, 10:36 am

...this is indeed troubling.

Putting the best spin on it that i can, this seems to be rushed through, poorly-drawn-up legislation to cover a "no deal" Brexit. And while it may be OK for a pharmacist to (say) substitute Naproxen with Ibuprofen, or reduce the dose of paracetamol, it certainly would NOT be appropriate for (say) a Boots pharmacist to try to change an HIV prescription.

Of course, HIV meds come from hospital pharmacies, and there, the pharmacist should at least have some knowledge of HIV meds...and hopefully, NOT entertain such changes to HIV meds without involving the HIV clincians and the patient themselves. But there is no guarantee of this...so i hope this challenge might be successful.

...and the so-called "public consultation" process was a joke! No prior information given, and 4 working days to comment...
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