EU-EXIT: Planning Around Medicines

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Community Action Norfolk are sharing this from the NHS, please contact them with any queries.

EU-EXIT planning around medicines – August 13th 2019

Over two and a half million prescription items are dispensed in primary care alone in England every day, and the NHS has existing ways of making sure that patients get the medicines that they need even under difficult circumstances.

These existing plans have been further developed and are now being implemented to ensure the most effective regulations, systems and processes are in place.

Occasionally the NHS may experience temporary shortages of specific medicines. If this happens, and depending on the nature of the circumstances, doctors and other prescribers will be guided how best to respond to the situation. Sometimes this may mean prescribing the best alternative to the patient’s medicine, as would happen normally. This will ensure patient treatment continues as normal.

It is important that patients only order their repeat prescriptions as normal, and keep taking their medicines as normal.

GPs and their teams must:

  • Continue prescribing medicines to patients as normal. Prescribing extra medicine or authorising early repeat prescription requests will significantly increase the risk of triggering shortages elsewhere
  • Ensure that they are familiar with the latest information on medicines supply
  • Inform patients that there are national plans in place to ensure continuity of supply of medicines

To ensure that we manage supply effectively across the NHS, any incidences involving the over-ordering of medicines, or pharmacies stocking excessive quantities of medicines, will be investigated and followed up with the relevant Chief Pharmacist or Contractor directly. This principle of not over stocking or over ordering medicines applies to dispensing doctors in the same way.

Information has been published on NHS.uk for patients should they have any queries, which can be found by clicking here. Supporting Q&As can be found here, that may also be helpful in any discussion with patients about their medicines and medical products.

If you have any queries, please contact your organisation’s EU Exit Senior Responsible Officer (SRO) who can then raise with NHS England’s regional EU Exit points of contact.

Help and who to contact

Help with supply of medicines and vaccines

You should continue to manage medicine and vaccine supply issues in the usual way.

If you are concerned about any supply issues, whether or not they are related to Brexit, report them through your community pharmacist.

If you experience disruption to your supplies after exit day then contact the National Supply Disruption Response centre (NSDR) by clicking here.

National Supply Disruption Response (NSDR)

After exit day, if you experience disruption to your supplies or you feel there is potential for disruption to social care services and no immediate resolution is available, you can report it to the NSDR.

The NSDR can help with disruption to the supply of medicines and vaccines, medical devices and clinical consumables that normal procedures can’t resolve.

It doesn’t matter whether the disruption is related to Brexit or not.

You should have the following information available when contacting the NSDR:

  • details of the disruption and causes
  • anticipated disruption and causes
  • products or services affected
  • how important these products or services are in providing social care
  • potential alternative products or service providers
  • the likely impact of the disruption
  • how many providers and/or people in care could be affected (by region or country where applicable)

Freephone number in the UK: 0800 915 9964

Direct line: 0191 283 6543

Email: supplydisruptionservice@nhsbsa.nhs.uk