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Coronavirus: Drugs

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN HL2787, tabled on 19 March 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of whether the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to result in any medicine shortages.

Answered on

25 March 2020

The country is well prepared to deal with any impacts of COVID-19 and we have stockpiles of generic drugs, in the event of any supply issues or significant increases in demand.

The Department is working closely with industry, the National Health Service and others in the supply chain to help ensure patients can access the medicines they need, and precautions are in place to reduce the likelihood of future shortages.

The steps being taken to protect United Kingdom supplies in response to the COVID-19 outbreak were set out in the Department’s press statement issued on 11 February 2020. These steps include asking suppliers to carry out risk assessments of the potential impacts of COVID-19 on their business and to retain any existing stockpiles of medical supplies from our previous European Union exit work. The statement also outlines that there is no need for the public or NHS to stockpile as this could aggravate problems elsewhere in the supply chain if they emerge.