The government has told pharmacists there is no need to stockpile any medicines or vaccines beyond usual stock levels in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

The guidance has been issued ahead of the UK leaving the European Union next month, scheduled to take place on October 31st.

There had been fears that, in the event of a no-deal Brexit, there would be shortages of certain medicines which are usually imported from Europe.

But the government points out that stockpiling medicines "could cause shortages in other areas and put service users at risk."

 

It urges UK health care providers not to stockpile, to not write longer NHS prescriptions and to discourage the public from stockpiling medicines."

However, it urges Chief and Responsible Pharmacists, who have responsibility for ensuring their organisation doesn't stockpile medicines unnecessarily, to take action in certain areas before the UK leaves the EU.

 

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It said: "If your organisation currently relies on receiving products from the EU with short lead times of 24 to 48 hours, plan for longer lead times of up to five days.

"Make sure you are prepared to receive stock deliveries outside normal hours."

 

The government is working with industry to make sure there is a continued supply of medicines, vaccines, medical devices and clinical consumables when the UK leaves the EU.

It is encouraging organisations to make business continuity and contingency plans and review them regularly.

The government advice also urges them to have "plans in place for the months after Brexit to ensure continuity of care for service users."