Wholesalers are also restricted from exporting pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccines (PPVs) and misoprostol – which is commonly used in the induction of labour, for termination of pregnancy and to treat some gastric and peptic ulcers – from tomorrow (November 6), the Department of Health and Social Care (DH) announced today.
They join ranitidine and norethisterone, 19 hormone replacement therapies (HRT), adrenaline auto-injectors, emergency hormonal contraception levonorgestrel and hepatitis B vaccines in a growing list of medicines now subject to exporting restrictions.
Measures to protect private MMR vaccination patients
The measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine has been added to the list “to protect the stock of those who are not eligible for a vaccine under the national immunisation programme”, the DH explained.
This includes private patients who are not eligible to receive it through the NHS, including overseas workers and those who receive private healthcare, it added.
The restrictions have “no impact” on the national, publicly funded NHS programme, “which continues as normal”, the DH stressed.
However, “an increase in global demand risks impacting on patients who are prescribed it outside the NHS immunisation programme”, it added.
“Doses of locally procured MMR vaccines are at risk of being parallel exported,” the DH said, which could “potentially caus[e] supply problems”.
Pharmacy staff have experienced shortages in every major category of medicine, a C+D investigation exclusively revealed last month, with certain medicines, such as HRT, proving particularly difficult to source.
Last month, NHS England said it was considering whether community pharmacies should be commissioned to provide more vaccination services, including MMR jabs, in a bid to increase uptake.