NHS England have revised the “Continuity of Supply Frequently Asked Questions” page in the “Preparing for EU Exit” section of their website and the “Getting your medicines if there’s a ‘no-deal’ Brexit” page on the NHS website has been updated.
The FAQs explain the government’s approach to ensuring that medicines continue to be available if there is a no-deal EU exit and provide the following advice for prescribers and NHS organisations:
- Prescribe and dispense as normal: Doctors and pharmacists are encouraged to reassure patients that they do not need to order extra medication and in fact this could contribute to or cause supply problems. Prescriptions covering longer durations than normally prescribed should be avoided. Prescription durations will be monitored and investigated where necessary.
- Provide patients with information: Clinicians and NHS organisations are encouraged to prioritise keeping patients and health professionals informed about plans for continuity of supply.
- Do not stockpile medicines and medical products: It is not helpful or appropriate for anyone to stockpile medicines – organisations who stockpile risk pressure on availability of medicines. Hospital stock levels will be monitored and incidences involving over-ordering of medicines will be investigated.
- Report any shortages through usual routes: Any shortages should be reported through usual routes and to support this, a national Medicines Shortage Response Group (MSRG) has been established to provide clear governance, communication and decision-making to improve the management of medicine shortages.
- Ensure your organisation is familiar with the latest information on supply disruption: This includes making sure your organisation is able to share the information in supply disruption emails, Central Alerting System (CAS)alerts and other communications to the system with clinicians. Medicines shortages will be managed at a national level in line with usual practice.