Community Pharmacy Brexit Forum: Update for pharmacies

Community Pharmacy Brexit Forum: Update for pharmacies

October 26, 2018

The community pharmacy organisations are continuing to work together to support community pharmacies and their patients ahead of the UK’s exit from the European Union.

In September, PSNC’s Brexit Forum, which brings together the Chief Executives of the major representative bodies involved in community pharmacy and the medicines supply chain, met for the first time along with representatives from the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC). Organisations at the meeting included the NPA, CCA, AIM, PDA and RPS from pharmacy, as well as the Dispensing Doctors Association, Healthcare Distribution Association and Proprietary Association of Great Britain.

Members of the group shared thoughts and concerns about Brexit and heard more about the DHSC plans to ensure that medicines supplies are maintained even in the event of a hard Brexit. Key topics that were discussed and will remain of interest to the group were:

  • Ensuring that the supply of medicines to community pharmacies and the patients they treat will be maintained post-Brexit;
  • The management of the 6-week stockholding for manufacturers and how this will be used to ensure continuity of supply to patients;
  • The additional costs for pharmacies associated with the Falsified Medicines Directive (FMD) and uncertainty as to how implementation of the Directive will work post-Brexit;
  • The potential impact of Brexit on the number of pharmacy registrants in the UK; and
  • Possible further measures that could be taken to assist pharmacists seeking to source medicines for patients who need them following Brexit.

The Forum also discussed an ongoing Inquiry by the Health and Social Care Committee who are examining what the effects of a no-deal Brexit might have on the health sector. The organisations on the Brexit Forum have now submitted responses to this, and are also preparing responses for an upcoming MHRA consultation on the topic. PSNC’s submission to the No-Deal Brexit Inquiry can be read in full here, but the main points raised included:

  • The potential impact a no-deal could have on the availability of medicines that are routinely used in patients’ care;
  • Ensuring additional costs to the community pharmacy sector are covered and reimbursement is quick and clear; and
  • Consideration of issues relating to FMD, including its implementation one month before Brexit.

The Forum encourages community pharmacy contractors to follow DHSC guidance, especially in relation to the letter sent by the DHSC to frontline healthcare professionals in August, where community pharmacies were told they ‘do not need to take any steps to stockpile additional medicines, beyond their business as usual stock levels’.

PSNC set up the Community Pharmacy Brexit Forum to provide a platform for stakeholders to share thoughts and compile advice for community pharmacy teams. The forum will continue to liaise with DHSC to ensure that the supply of medicines to community pharmacy patients is maintained.

Posted in: , ,

More Latest News >

CPCS Toolkit published

The NHS Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS) will commence on 29th October 2019 and the Toolkit to support pharmacy teams to provide...