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Brexit update

Contingency plans continue ahead of January 31

November 14th 2019

Tagged: political news Brexit

By Ailsa Colquhoun

The Department of Health and Social Care has provided an update on Brexit preparations.

In a letter, Professor Keith Willett, EU exit strategic commander and medical director for acute care & emergency preparedness, clarifies the current Brexit situation. He says: “The nature of the extension is that if the Withdrawal Agreement is ratified by both the UK and European Parliaments, the UK will leave with a deal. If ratification has not happened by 31 January 2020 the legal default is that the UK will leave the EU without a deal.”

He adds: “This means that preparations for a no deal outcome must continue, adjusted to the new timescales.”

For dispensers the key message is that local or personal stockpiling remains unnecessary and could cause shortages in other areas, which could put patient care at risk. It is important that patients keep taking their medicines and order their repeat prescriptions as normal.

There are also updates to the following Brexit planning arrangements:

  • Improving trader readiness for new border arrangements
  • Building up buffer stocks
  • Procuring extra warehouse space for stockpiled medicines
  • Securing freight capacity
  • Clarifying or changing regulatory requirements
  • Strengthening the processes and resources used to deal with shortages, including the use of Serious Shortage Protocols.

The most up to date readiness guidance for dispensing GPs is available online and by browsing the DDA’s news tagged ‘Brexit’.

Dispensers are also referred to the Guide to Managing Medicines Supply and Shortages.