Brexit: What’s changing for pharmacies (and what is not changing) from 11.00pm 31 January

31 Jan 2020

The United Kingdom leaves the European Union (EU) today (Friday 31 January 2020).

This will be followed by a transition period until the end of 2020 when it is planned that new arrangements will have been negotiated. The UK Government has stated that, during the transition period, the current rules on trade, travel and business for the UK and EU will continue to apply.

Therefore, for the time-being, all European regulations continue to apply in the UK, despite the UK formally leaving the EU at the end of January.

With this in mind, we hope that you will find the links below useful:

  • Workforce – EU citizens working in the UK are encouraged to apply to the Government’s EU Settlement Scheme. European professional qualifications will also continue to be recognised by all professional health regulators. In reference to Northern Ireland, click here.
  • General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This is a regulation in EU law on data protection and privacy in the EU and the European Economic Area. It also covers the transfer of personal data outside these areas. More information on GDPR can be found here.
  • The Falsified Medicines Directive (FMD). This EU directive aims to reduce the risk of counterfeit products entering the medicine supply chain. Here is advice that the NPA has previously issued on FMD.
  • Reporting of adverse events (the Yellow Card Scheme). This is a tool that the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) uses to monitor the safety of medicines, medical devices and herbal medicines. More details can be found here.
  • The MHRA has guidance on licensing of medicines.
  • Here is guidance previously issued by the NPA relating to wholesalers.
  • For guidance on exports/parallel trading, see the MHRA
  • Guidance on environmental regulations can be found from the Pharmaceutical Group of the European Union.
  • Employment law, including the Working Time Directive.

Here is Government advice on the transition period.

If you have any queries contact NPA Pharmacy Services team at or call 01727 891 800.