RPS statement on stockpiling medicines for Brexit

Concerns about continued supply of medicines

Commenting on reports that stockpiling of medicines could occur in the case of a no-deal Brexit, RPS President Ash Soni said:

“Patient health is paramount and we agree with the Government that patients in the UK and across the EU should continue to be able to access the best and most innovative medicines.

“Due to the complex and integrated nature of medicine supply chains, if patients in the UK are to continue to receive the medicines they need quickly, it’s vital there is effective movement of medicines and medical devices across borders with the European Union (EU).

“Without a negotiated deal, risks of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU include delays in patients accessing medicines, a concern widely recognised across the healthcare sector. 

“With some medicines manufacturers now talking about contingency plans to stockpile medicines in the absence of a negotiated deal, we are engaging with regulators and the NHS about their plans to minimise any potential disruption to the medicines supply chain.

“We welcome the Government’s intention for the UK to continue participating in agencies for highly regulated sectors, including for medicines, supported by arrangements covering all relevant compliance activity to reduce additional regulatory burden.

“It’s understandable that current uncertainties about Brexit are raising concerns about patient care. Ultimately, I’m confident that pharmacists will continue to ensure that patient safety remains their top priority, and that the RPS will be on hand to help the profession manage future changes.”