PSNC reconvenes Community Pharmacy Brexit Forum

PSNC reconvenes Community Pharmacy Brexit Forum

October 13, 2020

PSNC has reconvened the Community Pharmacy Brexit Forum which brings together more than 20 organisations across the pharmacy, wholesale and wider primary care sectors to discuss Brexit matters.

The group was established in preparation for previous Brexit deadlines and is now back in place ahead of the approaching 31 December 2020 date, the end of the Transition Period. The Forum’s aim is to bring together the sector and policy makers, and ultimately to try to ensure that the community pharmacy sector and patients are not adversely affected by Brexit.

The focus of the Forum (which met on 8 October 2020) was medicines supply, with members concerned about the potential impact of Brexit on patients, particularly with COVID-19 challenges likely to continue and winter pressures at this time of the year.

Forum members were also concerned about the lack of clarity around supplies of medicines from Great Britain to Northern Ireland after 31 December 2020, and the potential for prescribing periods to be extended ahead of the Brexit deadline. They stressed that as far as possible, prescribing and dispensing should operate on a business as usual basis, and this should be widely communicated.

The Brexit Forum continues to be an important voice in Brexit preparations representing pharmacy, with Edward Argar, the Minister of State for Health responsible for EU future relationship, unable to make the meeting but expected to attend a future Forum.

The Forum heard from both the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and NHS England & NHS Improvement (NHSE&I) about the preparations being made to manage any potential risks to supply and to deal with medicines shortages.

There was a consensus among pharmacy stakeholders that more communications would be helpful to address patient concerns and expectations, and PSNC will convene a communications group to address this.

The group will meet again closer to the Brexit deadline and will continue to monitor Brexit matters and to raise issues with DHSC and NHSE&I on behalf of community pharmacy.

Gordon Hockey, PSNC Director of Operations and Support, said:

“The Community Pharmacy Brexit Forum proved a useful vehicle for communications during previous Brexit countdown periods, allowing HM Government to have wide-ranging discussions with everyone involved in the community pharmacy supply of medicines. Similarly, the Forum is a place for pharmacy representatives to come together and share any concerns and possible solutions.

Unsurprisingly, the key focus for the group is ensuring the continuity of medicines supply and we will continue to use the Group’s influence to ensure that Government and the NHS are aware of the risks and doing all that they can to mitigate them.”

More Latest News >