DHSC Directs Pharma to Stockpile Medicines

Aug 23, 2018
By Pharmaceutical Technology Editors

As the United Kingdom ramps up contingency plans for a “no-deal” Brexit scenario in March 2019, Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) Secretary Matt Hancock issued a letter to pharmaceutical companies on 22 Aug. 2018 directing the companies to stockpile six weeks of additional supply of medicines for National Health Service patients, in case imports are delayed by fallout from UK’s departure from the European Union (EU).

The program covers prescription-only medicines and pharmacy-only medicines that come from or via the EU or European Economic Area via road haulage and roll-on, roll-off sea, road, and rail routes.

In the letter, DHSC directs pharmaceutical companies to have “a minimum of six weeks additional supply in the UK, over and above their business as usual operational buffer stocks, by 29 March 2019.” For short shelf-life products that cannot be stockpiled, pharmaceutical companies must provide plans to send products via air freight versus sea, road, or rail routes, which may be impacted by border delays. Companies are required provide contingency plan information on a product-by-product basis by 10 Sept. 2018.

Source: UK Department of Health and Social Care

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