Pharmacy needs ‘Cobra’ meetings to handle no-deal Brexit shortages
Pharmacy should be involved in Cobra-style crisis meetings to tackle medicines supply issues in the event of a no-deal Brexit, the wholesalers' body has suggested.
The “daily war room” meetings could share information from across the supply chain, with the aim of preventing shortages, Healthcare Distribution Association (HDA) executive director Martin Sawer told C+D yesterday (December 20).
The Department of Health and Social Care (DH) should chair the meetings, which would include the community pharmacy Brexit forum – a group of representative bodies from the sector and the supply chain set up by the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee – Mr Sawer said.
The meetings should also include representatives from the General Pharmaceutical Council, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, the NHS, the British Medical Association, the HDA and manufacturers, Mr Sawer said.
Together they would try to “deal with any flashpoints as they arise, whether it’s a manufacturing problem or a shortage in one area”, Mr Sawer said.
Wholesalers are able to deliver medicines overnight where necessary, he pointed out.
The DH said yesterday it is “still considering” responses to its consultation on the protocol for emergency powers for pharmacists to dispense an alternative medicine without contacting a GP in the event of a no-deal Brexit, which it will reply to in the new year, a solution which Mr Sawer first proposed to MPs in October.