Recent queries from hospitals – questions on medicines, procedures and practice from hospital staff

 In Regulations and Standards, Simplifying Product Supply

What is the current risk of shortages for medicines and medical products due to Brexit?

Should there be a no-deal Brexit, then there may be shortages of some medicines and other products due to disruption in the supply chain. The UK Government has put in place contingency measures which should help to prevent such shortages, and advice is being provided by the Department of Health as the situation between the UK and the EU evolves.

There are currently worsening medicine shortages in the UK, but these are attributable to other factors unrelated to Brexit. Ashtons is committed to supplying medication in a timely manner and has a procurement team who are dedicated to ensuring that we meet your order requirements.

If you experience difficulty in obtaining any medication, then please contact our Customer Service Staff who will provide information, or our pharmacists can suggest alternatives.

Do hospitals need to comply with the Falsified Medicines Directive?

The Falsified Medicines Directive 2011/62/EU (FMD) came into force in the UK in February 2019. All prescription medicines are required to have safety features including a security seal and unique identifier in the form of a 2D barcode. Hospitals will need to verify and decommission these barcodes using FMD technology to comply with the regulation.

However, in order for the system to work, the UK will need to remain in collaboration with the EU, and this won’t be feasible if there is a no-deal Brexit. Hospitals should keep informed about this situation and be prepared to implement FMD when they deem it is appropriate.

How do prescribers obtain a supply of private prescription forms for controlled drugs?

A statutory prescription form is needed to get controlled drugs (schedule 2 & 3) dispensed privately by a community pharmacy. These prescription forms will be needed for outpatient prescribing or when obtaining controlled drugs locally for emergencies or out of hours.

The private controlled drug prescription forms should be obtained from the following:

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