Brexit: Important update for pharmacies

Brexit: Important update for pharmacies

September 20, 2019

As we head towards the UK’s planned exit from the European Union, the Government’s guidance and messaging for the public and those involved in the medicines supply chain has evolved. Below is a round-up of recent events that community pharmacy teams need to be aware of.

Patient messaging revised

The patient information about a no-deal Brexit on the NHS England and NHS.UK websites have now been updated to reflect the latest guidance (see links below). Community pharmacy teams are advised to familiarise themselves with these documents.

NHS.UK webpage: Getting your medicines if there’s a ‘no-deal’ Brexit

NHS England webpage: Continuity of supply frequently asked questions

Community Pharmacy Brexit Forum

Earlier this month, PSNC’s Community Pharmacy Brexit Forum, which brings together the Chief Executives of the major representative bodies involved in pharmacy and the medicines supply chain, reconvened to discuss the current issues around Brexit.

Organisations represented at the meeting included the NPA, CCA and AIM from pharmacy, as well as the Dispensing Doctors Association and the Healthcare Distribution Association. Representatives from the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I) were also present to inform the group on the Government’s planning.

The Forum heard from and discussed:

  • DHSC’s multi-layered planning to ensuring the continuity of medicine supply in the event of a no-deal Brexit;
  • The work of the NHS Medicines Shortages Response Group;
  • DHSC and NHSE&I communications planning for any no-deal Brexit; and
  • An update on Serious Shortage Protocols (SSPs).

The Brexit Forum will continue to liaise with DHSC who are working to ensure that the supply of medicines to community pharmacy patients is maintained.

Government updates, contractor guidance and information for patients can all be found in PSNC’s Brexit hub. (There is also a page on SSPs.)

Joint statement from pharmacy bodies

The national pharmacy organisations have issued a joint statement on preparations to ensure the continuity of medicines supply in a no-deal Brexit scenario. The statement has recently been updated to reflect the delayed timescales for Brexit and to provide additional information on the Government’s preparations. Whilst our position hasn’t changed, we have been able to add more detail to the statement.

Pharmacy bodies joint statement on medicines supply (September 2019 update)

Guidance for healthcare providers

As part of its work to improve trader readiness, the Government has created a hub to help businesses prepare for Brexit. The webpage for healthcare providers contains actions that those providing healthcare services, including community pharmacies, should take before and after Brexit. This webpage brings together all the guidance on Brexit previously issued for healthcare providers.

Guidance for manufacturers and importers

The Government’s trader readiness hub also has a webpage for business supplying medicines and medical devices. This webpage contains actionable guidance that suppliers can take now to help ensure the continuity of medical supplies following Brexit and aligns with a letter to suppliers from DHSC’s Chief Commercial Officer, Steve Oldfield, on 26th June 2019.

EU exit data webinars

Primary care providers are usually data controllers and therefore have their own legal obligations to meet the terms of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).

NHS England’s Data Sharing and Privacy Unit is hosting webinars for Data Protection Officers in primary care to outline some of the national preparations being undertaken to ensure the continued flow of data when the UK leaves the EU. The webinars will also provide suggested actions for data controllers which they may wish to undertake.

Monday 23rd September at 2:30 pm

Wednesday 25th September 25 at 2:30 pm


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