Fresenius Kabi

Highlighting best practice as a representative in The Parliamentary Review

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Fresenius Kabi is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Managing DirectorNiamh Furey
Fresenius Kabi medical
home worker with patient
Fresenius Kabi is a global healthcare company that specialises
in lifesaving medicines and technologies for infusion,
transfusion and clinical nutrition. Its UK operation, based in
Runcorn, Cheshire, incorporates two businesses: Fresenius Kabi
Limited, which provides vital medicines, devices and nursing
services to NHS customers and its patients; and Calea UK Ltd,
which is the homecare specialist providing specialised products
and services, prescribed by clinical teams, direct to patients’
homes. Managing director of Fresenius Kabi Limited, Niamh
Furey, tells the
Our products and services are used to help care for critically and chronically ill
patients. The product portfolio at Fresenius Kabi comprises a comprehensive range
of I.V. generic drugs, infusion therapies and clinical nutrition products as well as the
devices for administering them. In the field of biosimilars, we focus on autoimmune
diseases and oncology. Within transfusion medicine and cell therapies we offer
products for the collection and processing of blood.
With our corporate philosophy of “caring for life”, at Fresenius Kabi we are
committed to putting essential medicines and technologies in the hands of people
who help patients and to finding the best answers to the challenges they face.
Calea in the UK strives to be the heart of homecare, facilitating the patient journey
from hospital to home and delivering sustainable, meaningful and cost-effective
long-term patient and nursing care directly to patients at home.
»Managing Director:
»Established in UK: 1987
»A global firm with a UK base
in Cheshire
»Services: Lifesaving medicines
and technologies for
infusion, transfusion and
»No. of employees: over 900
Fresenius Kabi
Highlighting best practice
Recognising issues
The Covid-19 pandemic did not delay
the urgency of the NHS in terms of
welcoming the launch of Fresenius
Kabi’s first biosimilar medicine in the
UK. Biological medicines are complex
medicines which are increasingly
significant in many therapeutic areas as
an option to treat patients. Biosimilars
are biological medicines that have
been shown to be equivalent to the
originator or reference medicine in
terms of quality, safety and efficacy
and are usually better value.
As key workers under the government’s
definition of an NHS subcontractor,
it was particularly important for us to
overcome the challenges presented
by Covid-19 restrictions in supplying
medicines and clinical services to
patients who live at home, as well
as pharmacy dispensing and nursing
services for vulnerable patient groups
within the community. However, being
part of a global organisation, we were
able to get ahead by implementing
adaptations and changes to ways
of working as well as listening to
the requirements of our patients
and customers, benefiting from
shared learnings from our worldwide
operations that were impacted earlier
than the UK, such as those in China,
India and mainlandEurope.
We recognised the need to avoid
outpatient hospital appointments
wherever possible, particularly for
groups of patients that are inherently
more susceptible to Covid-19, and
understood that relieving the burden
on NHS staffing capacity and finances
was of paramount importance.
Our solutions
Our new medicine was a critical
product that launched in the UK in
2020, amid the enormous pressure
faced in maintaining the supply of key
medicines and equipment to support
the NHS and Nightingale hospitals
during the first wave of the pandemic.
We received European Commission
approval for this medicine in 2019,
following our 2017 acquisition of
Merck KGaA’s biosimilars business. We
first launched the product in Germany,
perfecting the process for patients
and medical professionals to enable
rapid rollout in the UK in early spring
2020. In addition, Calea independently
provides the homecare service that sits
alongside the supply of our medicine to
patients, so we recruited specific nurses
and resources to deliver an aligned
system that has worked effectively in
alleviating the operational burden from
the NHS once a referral is made to us.
Provided in the UK in a pre-filled pen,
pre-filled syringe or vial, this medicine
is suitable for adult and paediatric
patients and acts on the immune
Fresenius Kabi building,
Runcorn, Cheshire
The Covid-19
pandemic did
not delay the
urgency of the
NHS in terms
of welcoming
the launch of
Kabi’s first
medicine in
the UK
system to reduce inflammation. The
aim of the treatment is to improve a
patient’s quality of life by encouraging
and maintaining remission and
providing respite from symptoms. It
is dispensed by our Calea-registered
pharmacy and is delivered via our
specialised cold chain delivery service
to any preferred address of the patient
(such as their home, work or holiday
destination), provided refrigeration is
available at that address.
Our involvement begins with a medical
referral from a specialist. A Calea nurse
will then undertake a pre-visit call with
the patient, before attending their home
to provide training in how to use their
medicine. During the pandemic, most
clinical assessments were undertaken
virtually, making nurse training at home
invaluable to ensure each of our patients
understood and was able to administer
their treatmentcorrectly.
Following their initial training, the
patient may receive a follow-up visit
from a Calea nurse if required, to
ensure they are comfortable and
competent to self-administer their
treatment. All patients receive a post-
visit nurse call and are assigned their
own dedicated patient coordinator
for ongoing treatment management
and communication, as well as access
to our 24/7/365 freephone advice
line. In addition, patients have access
to KabiCare, our online patient
counselling and cognitive behavioural
therapy programme.
Positive results
The combination of a treatment that is
less expensive, yet equally as safe and
effective, as the reference medicine,
alongside our in-house provision for
nursing advice and training at home,
is the solution our patients and NHS
customers needed. We are delighted
that we had sufficient foresight to
be in a position to deliver at the
The introduction of biosimilars has
been found to provide increased
value for the NHS, and they have the
potential to be used at an earlier stage
of a patient’s disease course, and
for those patients with a less severe
form of disease. Our ambition is to
offer patients more options to access
high-quality treatments in their own
home and we have a pipeline of other
biosimilars that will be rolled out over
the next few years.
The introduction of biosimilars has
been found to provide increased value
for the NHS, and they have the
potential to be used at an earlier stage
of a patient’s disease course
Fresenius Kabi nurse

This article was sponsored by Fresenius Kabi. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng.

Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng

This year’s Parliamentary Review reflects on a tumultuous and extraordinary year, globally and nationally. As well as being an MP, I am a keen student of history, and I am conscious that 2020 would mark the end of an era. It will be remembered as the year in which we concluded Brexit negotiations and finally left the European Union. Above all, it will be remembered as the year of Covid-19.

In our fight against the pandemic, I am delighted that our vaccination programme is beginning to turn the tide – and I pay tribute to the British businesses, scientists and all those who have helped us to achieve this. But the virus has dealt enormous damage, and we now have a duty to rebuild our economy.

We must ensure that businesses are protected. We have made more than £350 billion available to that end, with grants, business rates relief and our furlough scheme supporting more than 11 million people and jobs in every corner of the country, maintaining livelihoods while easing the pressure on employers. The next step is to work with business to build back better and greener, putting the net zero carbon challenge at the heart of our recovery. This is a complex undertaking, but one which I hope will be recognised as a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Through the prime minister’s ten point plan for a green industrial revolution, we can level up every region of the UK, supporting 250,000 green jobs while we accelerate our progress towards net zero carbon emissions.

With our commitment to raise R&D spending to 2.4% of GDP and the creation of the Advanced Research & Invention Agency, we are empowering our fantastic researchers to take on groundbreaking research, delivering funding with flexibility and speed. With this approach, innovators will be able to work with our traditional industrial heartlands to explore new technologies, and design and manufacture the products on which the future will be built – ready for export around the globe.

And I believe trade will flourish. We are a leading nation in the fight against climate change. As the host of COP26 this year, we have an incredible opportunity to market our low-carbon products and expertise. Our departure from the EU gives us the chance to be a champion of truly global free trade; we have already signed trade deals with more than 60 countries around the world.

As we turn the page and leave 2020 behind, I am excited about the new chapter which Britain is now writing for itself, and for the opportunities which lie ahead of us.
Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy