News, Policy & Media

Sep 23, 2020
The push towards Boris Johnson’s pledge to achieve 500,000 coronavirus tests per day by the end of October could be thwarted by shortages of appropriate reagents and analyser technology for labs. Testing capacity currently stands at about 260,000 tests per day, and intense testing programme expansion efforts will need to be led to have the system ready to achieve the PM’s objective. Without a readily available source and the correct type of reagent chemicals and compatible technology...
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Sep 22, 2020
Hospitals will have a capped amount of daily testing at 100,000 per day, Government has confirmed. The DHSC has advised that the maximum budget being put in place from the 1st October for NHS testing will allow for 100,000 tests per day. NHS hospitals have been instructed by NHS England not to launch their own testing of staff and patients unless they have prior approval from the Test and Trace programme, led by Baroness Dido Harding. This comes as Government pushes forward with its objective of...
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Sep 22, 2020
Health Secretary Matt Hancock has set out the priority groups for testing as the Government’s COVID-19 strategy continues. The new criteria comes as demand for testing soared in September and the Health Secretary voiced concerns over ineligible individuals requesting tests for coronavirus. The huge demand has led to laboratory capacity being overwhelmed and many people unable to order tests nor receive them via the postal service. In terms of the order of testing priority, those with acute...
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Sep 17, 2020
Finding solutions to the current testing service crisis is the Government’s ‘number one’ priority, according to Justice Secretary Robert Buckland. Government priorities will be clarified in a list which is to be published in the coming days, Buckland advised. Plans around the NHS will take centre-stage in the Government’s initiatives and the solving the current testing delays will be a key challenge. Health Secretary Matt Hancock has asserted that Government is ‘wor...
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Sep 09, 2020
The Government has set out its plans for a new approach to subsidy control and state aid in the post-Brexit landscape. The UK will be following WTO subsidy rules and other international commitments from the 1st January 2021 according to Business Secretary Alok Sharma. WTO rules are an internationally recognised common standard covering financial assistance granted by governments and public authorities to companies. The UK has been following the EU state aid rules up until now, these are managed ...
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Sep 07, 2020
 The House of Lords held its second reading of the Medicines and Medical Devices Bill last Thursday, with Innovation Minister Lord Bethell of Romford bringing the Bill before the House. The minister stated that the text is crucial to ‘the development of a modern, safe, medical regulation regime’ which will ensure patient safety is guaranteed and lives are saved into the future. Safety is the at the heart of the Bill’s mission, with medical devices tracking approaches and i...
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Sep 03, 2020
The DHSC hosted a Brexit Readiness Webinar on 27th August 2020 - if you were unavailable to attend you might find the attachments and links useful.  By way of follow up, please find below the following: the slides presented by HMRC (attached); slides on how medical suppliers can prepare to be ‘Trader Ready’ for the end of the Transition Period (attached); importing and exporting ‘decision trees’, as referenced by Tony Thomas from the Border and Protocol Delivery Grou...
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Sep 02, 2020
 The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has released new guidance on the regulatory arrangements for medical devices after the end of the Transition Period (January 2021). Three key aspects are emphasized in the new information. Firstly, the EU Medical Devices Regulation (MDR) and In Vitro Diagnostics Regulation (IVDR) will not take effect in the UK after the end of the Transition Period, only in EU member states. They will apply from the 26 May 2021 and 26 May 2022 ...
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Sep 02, 2020
UK-Japan Free Trade talks near completion   The UK-Japan Free Trade Agreement trade talks are entering their final stage of negotiations. The pace of talks has accelerated ahead of a notional deadline of September set out by Japan. Substantial progress has been made during two days of talks this month between UK and Japanese negotiators in London.   The talks form part of the push for international trade deals to be secured by the UK in advance of the end of the Tran...
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Aug 27, 2020
Stephen Lightfoot has been appointed as the Agency’s new Chair from 1st September 2020. He succeeds Prof Sir Michael Rawlins GBE, Kt who has been the Chair of the Agency Board since December 2014.Stephen has been a Non-Executive Director of the Agency since September 2015 and is also Deputy Chair of Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust and Non-Executive Chair of Sussex Primary Care Limited.Before joining the Board, Stephen had a 30-year career in the life sciences industry working on the ...
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