The Chief Pharmaceutical Officer for England and the NHSE&I Director of Primary Care Strategy have issued an Update on COVID-19 to Community Pharmacies (19/03/20). Further updates will be posted in the Primary Care section of the NHS England Coronavirus webpages @ https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/publication/preparedness-letters-for-community-pharmacy/
The latest update includes information on several topics, including the following about medicines supplies:
There are currently no medicine shortages as a result of COVID-19.
The country is well prepared to deal with any impacts of the coronavirus and the Government has been working with manufacturers and suppliers to ensure people can continue to access the medicines they need. To relieve potential pressures on global supply chains, UK medicines suppliers have been asked by DHSC to carry out a risk assessment on the impact of COVID-19 on their business for all medicines – Prescription Only Medicines (POMs), Pharmacy only (P) meds and General Sales List (GSL), irrespective of where the medicine originates from. The DHSC is working closely with industry, the NHS and others in the supply chain to ensure patients can access the medicines they need, and precautions are in place to reduce the likelihood of future shortages. It is essential that GPs do not issue prescriptions for a longer duration, pharmacies do not order larger quantities, and patients and the public do not seek to stockpile medicines as this behaviour could put the supply chain at risk. DHSC is monitoring the impact of coronavirus on UK medicines supply. Information on this activity can be found here: www.gov.uk/government/news/government-to-monitor-impact-of-coronavirus-on-uk-medicine-supply