Ensuring the concerns of pharmacists around Brexit are heard and helping to maintain the supply of medicines to community pharmacy patients are among the core aims of a new Brexit forum set up by the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee. The major representative bodies involved in community pharmacy and the medicines supply chain are to take part in the forum.

PSNC said it established the Brexit forum to “provide a platform for stakeholders to share thoughts and compile advice for community pharmacy teams”.

“While PSNC and the other national representative bodies have already been holding their own internal discussions to identify relevant issues and concerns that Brexit may present, this forum will provide a platform for stakeholders to share thoughts and compile advice for community pharmacy teams,” a statement from the organisation said.

Ensuring the supply of medicines

PSNC said that while it expects the Department of Health and Social Care, NHS England and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to have “contingency plans” to ensure the supply of medicines to those who need them is not disturbed, “the forum will help to identify relevant issues and seek appropriate clarification as required, in the approach to the Brexit deadline.”

Issues with a potential bearing on UK medicines supply that the Brexit forum has identified include the UK’s future relationship with the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and recent reports that the government may stockpile medicines to be prepared for a no-deal Brexit.

“The forum will want to ensure that community pharmacies have appropriate access to all sources of medicines so they can continue to fulfil prescriptions of vital medicines for their patients,” PSNC said.

The National Pharmacy Association, the Company Chemists’ Association, the Association of Independent Multiple Pharmacies, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, the Pharmacists’ Defence Association, the Dispensing Doctors Association and the Healthcare Distribution Association have indicated they will join the forum.

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