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NHS: Drugs

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN HL13591, tabled on 11 February 2019

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure (1) UK residents, and (2) medical organisations are aware of the guidance that has been issued on access to medicine in the case of a no-deal Brexit.

Answered on

25 February 2019

The Department has been working closely with the National Health Service, pharmaceutical companies and others in supply chains to make sure medicines continue to be available for the NHS, if the United Kingdom leaves the European Union without a deal.

The Department and NHS England published guidance on their websites for patients, including the online only policy paper, Getting Medication, on 18 January 2019. We have also been engaging with patient groups, trade associations and health care providers about messaging regarding access to medicines in a ‘no deal’ scenario.

The Department has issued guidance to all NHS trusts, pharmacies and general practices informing them of the Government’s plans for ensuring continuity of supply of medicines and advising them that they can expect to be able to continue accessing medicines through their existing supply routes in the event of a ‘no deal’ EU exit on 29 March. This guidance explained how hospitals, general practitioners and community pharmacies throughout the UK do not need to take any steps to stockpile additional medicines, beyond their business as usual stock levels. There is also no need for clinicians to write NHS prescriptions for larger quantities of medicines than usual. A copy of the Department’s letter of 7 December 2018 to the NHS in England is attached.