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NHS bosses have reassured the community pharmacy sector that there are no medicine shortages in the country as a result of COVID-19.

This was stated in a joint letter sent to community pharmacists today by Dr Keith Ridge, chief pharmaceutical officer for England, and Ed Waller, director, Primary Care Strategy and NHS Contracts.

The letter stated that the country was “well prepared to deal with any impacts of the coronavirus” and added that the Government was “working with manufacturers and suppliers to ensure people can continue to access the medicines they need.”

Furthermore, it said the Department of Health and Social Care has asked UK medicines suppliers to carry out a risk assessment on the impact of the virus on their businesses for all medicines, including Prescription Only Medicines (POMs), Pharmacy
only (P) meds and General Sales List (GSL), irrespective of where they have originated from.

Stating that precautions were “in place to reduce the likelihood of future shortages,” the two NHS leaders have advised GPs not to “issue prescriptions for a longer duration” and asked pharmacies against ordering larger quantities “as this behaviour could put the supply chain at risk.”

The letter stressed that patients and the public should not “seek to stockpile medicines” for the same reason.

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