Intended for healthcare professionals


Hancock tells GPs: don’t stockpile drugs or overprescribe as Brexit approaches

BMJ 2018; 362 doi: (Published 23 August 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;362:k3644
  1. Ingrid Torjesen
  1. London

The health and social care secretary for England has warned GPs and hospitals not to stockpile drugs or write longer prescriptions for patients in the weeks leading up to Brexit.

In a letter to GPs, NHS organisations, community pharmacies, and other service providers,1 Matt Hancock said that local stockpiling is unnecessary because the government has developed plans to ensure continuity of supply if the UK leaves the EU on 29 March 2019 with no deal agreed.

Drug companies will be asked to ensure that they have an additional six weeks’ supply of medicines in the UK on top of their own normal stock levels, “in case imports from the EU through certain routes are affected.” Separate arrangements will be made for the air transport of medicines with short shelf lives, such as medical radioisotopes. Hancock has written to makers of pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and clinical consumables to set out further …

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