The Human Medicines (Amendment) Regulations 2019 order – which came into force on February 9 – includes provisions to allow pharmacists to dispense an alternative in accordance with a “serious shortage protocol” announced by the government – rather than the prescription and without contacting the GP – in the event of a national medicines shortage.
Since then, not-for-profit organisation the Good Law Project has launched legal proceedings against the Department of Health and Social Care (DH) for pushing through the regulatory changes “without proper consultation with patient and clinical groups”.
David Reissner, a consultant at law firm Charles Russell Speechlys, told C+D last week that if a judge considers the Good Law Project has “an arguable case”, and its subsequent hearing is successful, the regulatory changes will have to be withdrawn, while a full consultation is carried out.
“If a serious shortage occurs in the meanwhile…I’d like to know what the Good Law Project would expect the DH to do,” he added.
However, Mr Reissner stressed that he is “not convinced” by the Good Law Project’s legal argument against the shortages powers.
The Good Law Project told C+D this morning (March 13) that it is waiting for instructions from the High Court on the next step in the legal proceedings.
Read Mr Reissner’s in-depth legal verdict on the Good Law Project’s challenge