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.

Join

Subscribe or Register

Existing user? Login

Supply chain

Wholesalers 'hoarding' medicines could face criminal charges, says government

Wholesale dealer licence holders found to be hoarding medicines from a restricted list, which includes 19 hormone replacement therapy products, could lose their licence.

Wholesale dealer licence holders could face criminal charges if they hoard certain medicines that have been placed under restrictions by the government, new guidance published by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) states.

The guidance, published on 7 October 2019, says the restrictions also prevent licence holders from hoarding restricted medicines.

The DHSC defines ‘hoarding’ as “when wholesale dealers withhold a medicine when it is in short supply”.

The guidance comes a few days after the government issued a list of medicines that cannot be parallel exported from the UK, where companies buy medicines meant for UK patients and sell on for a higher price in another country.

The list of restricted medicines, published on 3 October 2019, contains 19 hormone replacement therapy products.

Wholesale dealer licence holders found to be hoarding medicines on the restricted list could see their licence suspended by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Authority (MHRA) in the first instance, with persistent hoarding “considered a criminal offence under Regulation 34(1), read together with Regulation 18(1) of the Human Medicines Regulations 2012”, the guidance states.

For medicines not on the restricted list, the Department of Health and Social Care told The Pharmaceutical Journal that hoarding of any medicine that results in the needs of UK patients not being met could still constitute a breach of the regulations and would be considered on a case-by-case basis.

A statement from the Healthcare Distribution Association (HDA) said its member companies are “aware of a few small ‘non-wholesaling businesses’ [that] also hold wholesale dealer’s licences” and “may be offering to buy small amounts of stock from many different locations, such as pharmacies, and then hoard for price gain purposes”.

As a result, the HDA “is calling on the MHRA to consider a more rigorous and transparent enforcement of the obligations on all wholesale dealer license holders in line with good distribution practice legislation”.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2019.20207196

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

  • BNF and BNF for Children

    BNF and BNF for Children

    Now available as a 1 year print subscription to both the BNF and BNFC, ensuring you have the latest medicines information as it publishes and at a greatly reduced price.

    £138.50Buy now
  • BNF and BNF for Children

    BNF and BNF for Children

    Now available as a 2 year print subscription to both the BNF and BNFC, ensuring you have the latest medicines information as it publishes and at a greatly reduced price.

    £262.50Buy now
  • Clinical Pharmacokinetics

    Clinical Pharmacokinetics

    A practical guide to the use of pharmacokinetic principles in clinical practice. Includes case studies with questions and answers.

    £33.00Buy now
  • Pharmaceutical Toxicology

    Pharmaceutical Toxicology

    Explains the methodology and requirements of pre-clinical safety assessments of new medicines. Includes registration requirements and pharmacovigilance.

    £40.00Buy now
  • Strategic Medicines Management

    Strategic Medicines Management

    A practical guide to influencing the availability of medicines, and policies of their use. Focuses on the strategic elements of medicines management.

    £33.00Buy now

Search an extensive range of the world’s most trusted resources

Powered by MedicinesComplete
  • 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.