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Pharmacists voice concerns over Brexit medicine supplies

A new survey, published by Medicspot, has revealed that pharmacists are “worried” about the supply of medicines to the UK, after we officially left the European Union (EU) on 31 January.

The study demonstrated that eight in 10 pharmacists (84%) in the UK believe their pharmacy will be impacted by the UK’s departure from the EU, with 79% saying they feel fearful about the changes on the horizon.

Further, almost nine in 10 pharmacists (87%) are concerned about the supply of medicines after Brexit and four in 10 pharmacists (42%) have even considered stockpiling drugs in preparation.

It also revealed that almost four in 10 (39%) predict their team will shrink after the UK’s departure from the EU, with only 6% believing their team will grow.

As the Brexit deadline passed, the government revealed over 200 medicine products faced supply issues in 2019, including ten medicines that faced stock issues for at least ten months.

As such, it “is important that there continues to be an effective movement of medicines and medical devices across borders with the European Union. To this end, we continue to be in close contact with Government and regulators about preparations for Brexit,” commented Mark Lyonette, chief executive officer of the National Pharmacy Association (NPA), who supported the survey.

He continued, “Medicine prices, licensing of medicinal products, safety protocols and health sector workforce will all be impacted by the UK’s departure from the EU. Timely supply of medicines is important to patient wellbeing, so maintaining a safe and effective medicine supply service continues to be our primary focus.”

The findings were part of a wider ‘State of Pharmacy’ report published by Medicspot and supported by the NPA, exploring the pressing issues facing pharmacy today.