A pharmacy stakeholder group has expressed concerns about shortages of medicines in Northern Ireland in the event of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit.
The UK Community Pharmacy Falsified Medicine Directive Working Group has called on the government to protect the supply of medicines into Northern Ireland following the end of the Brexit transition period on December 31.
Under the Northern Ireland protocol, the country will be obliged to align with the EU regulations including FMD, complicating routes of supply of medicines from the rest of the UK where those rules won’t apply.
“If it becomes unviable for manufacturers and wholesalers to put stock into Northern Ireland, pharmacies in NI might quickly find themselves short of supplies and unable to service patients’ needs, said Raj Patel, chair of the UK Community Pharmacy FMD Working Group.
“Since medicines regulation is not a devolved responsibility, we are asking the Westminster government to clarify what arrangements it has for medicine verification in Northern Ireland after December 31.”
Last month, the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry warned a parliamentary committee that the medicines supply route across the Irish Sea could face disruption.
The UK Community Pharmacy FMD Working Group consists of the national organisations representing community pharmacy across the UK.