Cookie policy: This site uses cookies (small files stored on your computer) to simplify and improve your experience of this website. Cookies are small text files stored on the device you are using to access this website. For more information please take a look at our terms and conditions. Some parts of the site may not work properly if you choose not to accept cookies.


Subscribe or Register

Existing user? Login

Medicines shortages

Pharmacists in devolved nations can follow serious shortage protocols from 31 October 2019

The Scottish government is introducing new legislation in preparation for a potential no-deal Brexit scenario.

Legislation enabling the use of serious shortage protocols (SSPs) in Scotland will come into effect from 31 October 2019, the Scottish government has said.

In a letter signed by Rose Marie Parr, chief pharmaceutical officer for Scotland, dated 16 October 2019, the government outlines its preparations in case of a no-deal Brexit on 31 October 2019.

It says that, in the event of a medicines shortage that is considered to have a “medium”, “high” or “critical” impact after Brexit, a Scottish medicines shortages response group will issue a medicine supply alert notice (MSAN) to community pharmacies.

The letter added that MSANs “may be supplemented by an individual [SSP]”, with secondary legislation enabling their use “in place from 31 October 2019”.

According to the letter, SSPs in Scotland will only be issued if the shortage is considered to have a “high impact” on patients, where supply problems mean “there are limited or no alternatives in the same therapeutic class and which require significant management, potentially including changes in clinical practice or operational direction, or that have patient safety implications”.

Similar legislation is due to come into force in Wales on 31 October.

Legal amendments to the NHS (Pharmaceutical and Local Pharmaceutical Services) Regulations 2013 that introduced SSPs into the terms of service for community pharmacies in England came into effect from 1 July 2019.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2019.20207224

Have your say

For commenting, please login or register as a user and agree to our Community Guidelines. You will be re-directed back to this page where you will have the ability to comment.

Recommended from Pharmaceutical Press

  • Print
  • Share
  • Comment
  • Save
  • Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF

Newsletter Sign-up

Want to keep up with the latest news, comment and CPD articles in pharmacy and science? Subscribe to our free alerts.