Medicines Supply Continuity – Update on No Deal EU Exit Contingency Plans

The Chief Pharmaceutical Officer for England has written to pharmacists working in and with the NHS in England to update them on Government contingency plans for continuity of medicines supply in the event of a No Deal Exit from the EU.

The letter reiterates advice about the additional pressure on medicines supplies that stockpiling can cause and provides information on the following:

  • Operational Guidance: national operational guidance for the NHS issued by DHSC, with support from NHS England and NHS Improvement.
  • Medicine Supply Assessment: comprehensive assessment of medicines supply routes.
  • Six Week Stockpile: very good engagement from industry on developing a six-week stockpile of medicines – with contract agreements for additional warehouse space.
  • Alternative Transport Routes: transport routes for all medicines reviewed; plans being developed for re-routing where necessary; medicines and medical products to be prioritised on alternative routes.
  • Vaccines: significant stockpiles for the national immunisation programme in place; working closely with suppliers to ensure replenishment.
  • Unlicensed Medicines: all key unlicensed and specials suppliers asked to ensure they have a minimum of six weeks additional supply; unlicensed medicines and specials manufacturers to ensure sufficient ingredients in the UK.
  • Clinical Research: clinical research should continue as normal unless specific instructions or formal communications received; investigational medicinal products (IMPs) prioritised on alternative routes.
  • Serious Shortage Protocol: legislation laid before parliament will enable community pharmacies to dispense against an approved protocol instead of a prescription – without going back to the prescriber first.