The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has been working closely with the NHS, pharmaceutical companies, medical device supply companies and others in supply chains to make sure medicines and medical products continue to be available for the NHS if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.
Over two and a half million prescription items are dispensed in primary care alone in England every day, and the NHS has existing ways of making sure that patients get the medicines that they need even under difficult circumstances. These existing plans have been further developed and are now being implemented to ensure the most effective regulations, systems and processes are in place.
Occasionally the NHS may experience temporary shortages of specific medicines. If this happens, and depending on the nature of the circumstances, doctors and other prescribers will be guided how best to respond to the situation. Sometimes this may mean prescribing the best alternative to the patient’s medicine, as would happen normally. This will ensure patient treatment continues as normal.
It is important that patients only order their repeat prescriptions as normal, and keep taking their medicines as normal.
The following links are for patient and healthcare staff medicine information
NHS Getting your medicines if there's a 'no-deal' Brexit - Medicine information for patients on getting medicines if there is a no deal EU exit
NHS England Continuity of supply frequently asked questions - An FAQ for healthcare staff regarding continuity of supply of medicines
A Guide to Managing Medicines Supply and Shortages - To support pharmacists, clinicians and other NHS professionals with managing the supply of medicines to their patients and details the national, regional and local management and escalation processes
Serious shortage protocols (SSPs) - Updates for serious shortage protocols