Over the past months we have been working closely with colleagues from across the pharmacy sector, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), the NHS and other stakeholders to seek to ensure the continued supply of medicines and healthcare services in community pharmacies as the UK leaves the European Union.
We recognise that some patients and members of the public are concerned about the potential impact that Brexit could have on their ability to access the medicines they need.
In August last year DHSC issued guidance on their plans for maintaining medicines availability in the event of a no-deal Brexit. This guidance was expanded and updated in December and again in February 2019. You will no doubt be aware that medicines manufacturers have been requested to stockpile an additional six weeks’ stock in the UK, and prescribers, pharmacists and the public not to stockpile medicines. Medicines will be given priority at ports and alternative routes for bringing supplies into the country are being sourced.
Towards the end of 2018 we worked with DHSC when they consulted about changes to legislation to enable pharmacists to support the wider NHS in the event of serious shortages of medicines. We are continuing to help DHSC develop specific protocols for community pharmacists to ensure that patients continue to receive the best possible care.
In the weeks leading up to the end of March, and beyond, we will continue to monitor the situation and do all we can to help community pharmacy teams provide their patients with the support and care that they need.
If you would like more information about how the community pharmacy sector is preparing for Brexit, please visit the PSNC website.