The Company Chemists’ Association (CCA) has today (12 December) welcomed the opportunity for community pharmacy to support the NHS in maintaining a safe and effective supply of medicines to the public, in anticipation of possible shortages caused by the uncertainties surrounding Brexit.
An informal consultation concluded today on urgent changes to the Human Medicines Regulation (HMR) 2012 to ensure the continuity of medicines, including in a ‘no deal’ Brexit. The CCA was invited to respond to the consultation.
Commenting on the consultation, Malcolm Harrison, Chief Executive of the CCA, said: “We support the principle of enabling community pharmacists, in the event of serious national medicines shortages, to support primary care by dispensing in accordance with Serious Shortage Protocols (SSP) rather than a prescription, without contacting the GP.
It is now imperative that the Department for Health and Social Care works with the community pharmacy sector, including the CCA, and the wider NHS to ensure that the implementation of the proposed changes can be delivered in the most safe and effective way for patients. However, there must be recognition of the impact these proposals may have against what we would consider to be current ‘normal’ practice and workloads. We believe that the workload and cost impact to pharmacies of making supplies against SSPs will be considerable.
“The CCA represents almost half of all community pharmacies across England, Scotland and Wales and its membership contains a significant amount of experience and expertise in the design and delivery of services. As such we expect to be directly involved in the operational design of the proposed changes to the HMR2012, to ensure that they can be delivered in such a way as to minimise any impact, for both patients and the sector.”