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Pharma needs transparency in homecare

The pharmaceutical industry needs to increase its level of transparency if it is to build relationships in the UK's clinical homecare market

The pharmaceutical industry needs to increase its level of transparency if it is to build relationships in the UK's clinical homecare market.

The comments were made by Mark Hackett, CEO of the Southampton University Hospitals NHS Trust, who was presenting results from the Department of Health's review of the homecare medicines market at the inaugural National Clinical Homecare Association (NCHA) conference in Birmingham, UK.

Hackett explained that the industry's method of providing homecare, described by the NCHA as the provision of medical supplies and/or clinical services directly to patients in the community, was "wrapped up in a big package", making it difficult to see specific costs.

He said: "I have learnt lot about the prescription pricing scheme, and within that there are costs that are embedded for distribution, there are costs for certain levels of profit and there are costs for supply of drugs in homecare. We just need to see it all and understand what those savings are in terms of switching to homecare supply."

Mark Hackett, CEO of the Southampton University Hospitals NHS Trust at the NCHA conference

 

A series of national standards for homecare was also recommended by Hackett, covering major areas of governance, operations and control, including the selection of patient cohorts; the control of patient communications; and the identification of who was responsible for quality management systems.

The patient benefit of homecare was discussed by fellow speaker, healthcare commentator Roy Lilley.

Speaking to PMLiVE, he said: "Homecare is a way to deliver high quality care and is something that does prove popular for patients. We should be looking for ways that patients can add value to the NHS, and people like the idea of looking after themselves."

The potential for the pharmaceutical industry to benefit from increased investment in homecare services also came up during the conference.

Referencing a study at Birmingham Children's Hospital involving homecare in the use of a growth hormone treatment, Nick Payne, chair of the NCHA, discussed how research undertaken in a homecare setting allowed the industry access to very informative data that it did not normally have access to.

He said: "That level of detail that homecare offers is of immense value because it impacts on patients in a very real way."

 

7th October 2011

From: Healthcare

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