Community Pharmacy Brexit Forum established

Community Pharmacy Brexit Forum established

July 25, 2018

PSNC has set up a Brexit forum involving the Chief Executives of the major representative bodies involved in community pharmacy and the medicines supply chain.

Whilst PSNC and the other national representative bodies have already been holding their own internal discussions to identify relevant issues and concerns that Brexit may present, this forum will provide a platform for stakeholders to share thoughts and compile advice for community pharmacy teams.

The forum will also liaise with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) to ensure that the supply of medicines to community pharmacy patients is maintained. We expect DHSC, NHS England and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to have contingency plans and to monitor the medicines supply market during and after Brexit, but the forum will help to identify relevant issues and seek appropriate clarification as required, in the approach to the Brexit deadline.

For example, contractors may be aware of a Parliamentary vote last week on continued UK involvement in the European Medicines Agency (EMA). MPs voted for the UK to take “all necessary steps” to participate in the regulatory network operated by the agency after we leave the EU, which the Government had already committed to. The UK’s future relationship with the EMA is of importance to the medicines supply chain, so this will be an issue for the new Community Pharmacy Brexit Forum.

There have also been recent reports in the national press that the NHS is considering stockpiling medicine supplies to protect against the possibility of a no-deal Brexit. The forum will want to ensure that community pharmacies have appropriate access to all sources of medicines so they can continue to fulfil prescriptions of vital medicines for their patients.

PSNC agreed to set up the forum at its July meeting. The National Pharmacy Association, the Company Chemists’ Association, the Association of Independent Multiple Pharmacies, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, the Pharmacists’ Defence Association, the Dispensing Doctors Association and the Healthcare Distribution Association have indicated they will join the forum. Any other representative organisations wishing to join should email PSNC Director of Operations and Support, Gordon Hockey.

This was discussed at PSNC’s July 2018 meeting. A summary of all the topics discussed at that meeting is available here.

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