Contingency plans in place to keep disruption to medicine supply to a minimum - local pharmacist
Pharmacist Eamonn Brady from Whelehans Pharmacies in Mullingar explains “the good news relating to medication supply is that in the case of a ‘No Deal’ or so called ‘Hard Brexit’, there are contingency plans in place to keep disruption to medicine supply to a minimum.”
The Minister for Health has outlined a comprehensive set of preparations to ensure continuity of health services and supply of medical products in the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit.
This work involves the Department of Health, the HSE, the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) and other agencies.
On January 15, the Government released an update on their Brexit Contingency and Preparedness Plan.
This covered all aspects of areas impacted by Brexit including finance and taxes, transport, agriculture, health etc.
As medicines supply is critical to the health of the nation, there is very detailed plans to minimise disruption.
The Government’s contingency plan explains: “The HSE and HPRA are where necessary, identifying clinically appropriate alternatives to these small number of vulnerable products.”
The Government’s contingency plan goes on to state: “The Department of Health, HSE and HPRA do not anticipate an immediate impact on medicine supplies should there be a no-deal Brexit.
"There are already additional stocks of medicines routinely built into the Irish medicine supply chain, and these additional stocks, together with planning by Revenue to allow the fast-tracking of essential drugs into Ireland, will help deal with any delays and shortages that may arise.”
Pharmacist Eamonn Brady explains the advice from all involved in medicine supplies is “there is no need for hospitals, pharmacists or patients to order extra quantities of medicines, as doing so could disrupt existing stock levels and hamper the supply of medicines for other patients”.
The HPRA is continuing to support companies in making the necessary changes to marketing authorisations and committed to ensuring that they will put no regulatory barriers in the way of medicine supply to Irish patients.
There are already significant stocks of medicines routinely built into the Irish medicines supply chain model, and these stocks will help buffer any supply delays because of Brexit.