Government issues statements about maintaining medicines supply in the event of a “no deal” Brexit

23 Aug 2018

The government has today published guidance to various sectors on a “no deal” Brexit.

There has been a particular focus in the media on the guidance relating to medicines which has been published by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) available to view here.


In an open letter addressed to ‘healthcare colleagues’ please see here, the Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, says there is no need for community pharmacies to stockpile, and that his department will work with manufacturers to ensure that they have a minimum of six weeks’ additional supply in the UK as buffer stock stockpile six weeks’ worth of stock in case the UK leaves the EU next March without a transitional agreement.


The letter adds that local stockpiling is not necessary and any incidences involving the over ordering of medicines will be investigated and followed up with the relevant Chief or Responsible Pharmacist directly. The NPA therefore recommends its members to keep a record of any changes in their ordering quantities of medicines in order to meet patient demand.


The NPA has been conducting preparatory work on Brexit for many months, including working with other parts of the supply chain to explore the potential issues that will be created by Brexit.  Medicines supply is a key issue but others include access to qualified staff, additional costs and access to EU databases.


We will be writing to the Government on some of the issues we would now like to be addressed, and will update NPA members as more details on the negotiations unfold.


Please send your thoughts and comments via email with ‘Brexit’ in the subject line, to our Policy Manager, Helga Mangion, at