British medicine switching expert Maxwellia continues to drive shift to self-care with five more pharmacy products in the launch pipeline

Push to convert more prescription medicines to pharmacy medicines will firmly position pharmacists at heart of nation’s public health, helping futureproof NHS

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Alderley Park, UK – 23 April 2022

Following the reclassification of the daily progestogen-only pill earlier this year, Maxwellia made history by launching Lovima® (desogestrel 75mcg) one of the first oral contraceptive brands to be available in pharmacy. It was the first product to market for Maxwellia, the pioneering pharma company that is planning more milestone moments as it spearheads an important transformation in the UK’s self-care market. 

Based in Alderley Park, Cheshire, Maxwellia is currently looking at a number of medicines which treat a range of conditions in major public health categories that can be ‘switched’ from needing a prescription to being conveniently bought at a local high street or supermarket pharmacy, with most recently, Aquiette® for Overactive Bladder (OAB), with the public consultation announced on 23rd April 2022. With its foot firmly on the accelerator it has other applications under assessment with the MHRA, including women’s health products. 

Widening access to a range of medicines in this innovative way will not only transform how people manage and control their own health and broaden the role of pharmacists, the shift could also help ease unnecessary pressure on GPs, who are currently gatekeepers to a range of medicines that could easily be provided by a pharmacist with a short pharmacy consultation. Switching is a rigorous process regulated by the MHRA. Previous well-known examples of switches include Nurofen, Canesten and Viagra Connect and recent Lovima®.

Pharmacies have become even more instrumental in helping people to care for themselves during the COVID-19 pandemic which has led many patients to recognise the important role pharmacists play in primary care. They are not just there for plasters, dry skin and cough and cold remedies. This is underlined by research from the PAGB, the consumer healthcare association, which found that following the first national lockdown 69% of people were more likely to consider self-care as their first option.1 Almost a third (32%) said the pandemic had changed their attitude to the way they use NHS services, with 86% agreeing that A&E and GP appointments should only be used when essential. The survey also found that 31% of people who would previously not have visited a pharmacy for advice before seeking help elsewhere said they were now more likely to do so.

Maxwellia CEO, Anna Maxwell, says: “This pandemic has had a significant impact on people’s behaviour and attitudes to self-care. We are seeing signs that people are starting to pay closer attention to their health and taking active steps to make daily changes to take better care of their own health. A huge part of enabling this change will be to allow easier access to medicines that help people to better manage their own health more easily and conveniently. 

“Britain’s pharmacies have become the ‘front door’ of the NHS over the past couple of years with pharmacists now the most accessible healthcare professional in the UK. I’ve always been passionate about the role of pharmacists, these are highly trained clinical experts helping patients and the public by assessing conditions and making decisions about which medicines or treatments would be most suitable, they dispense prescriptions and provide health checks and consultations. As a pharmacist myself, I know how important we are in helping people to self-care and see that pharmacists will play an increasingly important role in the local community as medical advisors. It’s vital more medicines are reclassified, from prescription-only to pharmacy status, enabling people to access them following a short consultation with a pharmacist.”

Maxwellia was founded in 2013 and has been purpose-built to develop and commercialise the next generation of consumer healthcare pharmacy brands to provide people with new and better ways to conveniently look after themselves. Its robust pipeline includes numerous medicines across areas of public health with the greatest unmet need. Maxwellia has firmly established a solid sales, logistics and supply chain with industry-leading partners to successfully launch its game-changing new brands into pharmacy.

Increasing public demand, a severe budget crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic have all put the NHS under unprecedented strain. According to NHS England, there are 18 million GP appointments and 2.1 million A&E visits every year for self-treatable conditions, costing the NHS £850 million.2

ENDS​

Laura Squire, Chief Quality and Access Officer at the MHRA, explains about the Aquiette public consultation process.

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For more information or interview with Anna Maxwell please contact The Difference Collective:

Kate van Beek: 07525 095232 / kate.vanbeek@thedifferencecollective.com

Charlotte Messer: 07928 700277 / charlotte.messer@thedifferencecollective.com

Notes to Editors:

 

About Lovima®

Lovima® 75 microgram film-coated tablets (containing desogestrel) is a new Pharmacy (P) licensed brand of a daily progestogen-only contraceptive pill to prevent pregnancy in women of child-bearing age. It is available in UK pharmacies without a prescription. Always refer to the patient information leaflet (PIL).

About Maxwellia

Founded in 2013, Maxwellia is a female founded, British pharma company and the world’s only company completely dedicated to “switching” – prescription-only medicines into versions that can be bought over the counter in a pharmacy. Switching is a rigorous regulatory process enabling pharmacists to safely supply what were previously prescription-only medicines. Maxwellia is developing and commercialising the next generation of consumer healthcare pharmacy brands treating a range of conditions in major public health categories. It aims to provide people with new ways to conveniently look after themselves by making widely used and effective medicines available over the counter at the pharmacy. It has further applications under assessment and its pipeline includes other women’s health products. An independent venture-capital start-up, Maxwellia has been most recently financially backed by Channel 4 Ventures, Praetura Ventures and the British Business Bank, Future Fund, a government initiative to help cutting-edge British companies of the future thrive.

1.   PAGB: Coronavirus will change the attitudes to NHS and Self Care Survey Suggests: 20 July 2020: www.pagb.co.uk/content/uploads/2020/06/
Coronavirus-will-change-attitudes-to-NHS-use-and-self-care-survey-suggests.pdf
[last accessed 5 February 2021]

2.   NHS England: 23 March 2018: www.england.nhs.uk/south-east/2018/03/23/pharmacy-opening-hours-over-the-easter-bank-holidays [last accessed 5 February 2021]