Drugs: Shortages

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 11th January 2019.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Wayne David Wayne David Shadow Minister (Defence) (Armed Forces and Defence Procurement)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what consultation his Department has undertaken on proposals for the introduction of Serious Shortage Protocols for medicines.

Photo of Wayne David Wayne David Shadow Minister (Defence) (Armed Forces and Defence Procurement)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the timeframe is for the introduction of Serious Shortage Protocols for medicine.

Photo of Wayne David Wayne David Shadow Minister (Defence) (Armed Forces and Defence Procurement)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the Serious Shortage Protocols for medicines are time-limited.

Photo of Wayne David Wayne David Shadow Minister (Defence) (Armed Forces and Defence Procurement)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what safeguards his Department has put in place to ensure that medical Serious Shortage Protocols do not pose risk to the well-being of patients.

Photo of Steve Brine Steve Brine The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

The Department engaged with a wide range of stakeholder representative bodies about the proposals and also conducted a written consultation. The Department received 47 responses to its written consultation including from industry, patients’, pharmacists’ and doctors’ representative bodies. The responses to the consultation were broadly supportive.

The Statutory Instrument is expected to be laid shortly and come into force before 29 March. Any serious shortage protocol would be developed with and signed off by clinicians. Only if clinicians deem it appropriate, an alternative quantity, strength, pharmaceutical form or medicine can be dispensed in line with the protocol.

A protocol is only one of the tools that can be used to manage shortages. The Department manages shortages in collaboration with manufacturers and suppliers, the National Health Service and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency and will continue to do so. A protocol would only be introduced in case of a serious shortage, if it would help manage the supply situation and if clinicians think it is appropriate, taking account of the risks to and well-being of patients and after discussion with the manufacturer and/or marketing authorisation holder.

Any serious shortage would be time limited and the protocol itself would indicate the period during which it has effect.

Does this answer the above question?

Yes0 people think so

No0 people think not

Would you like to ask a question like this yourself? Use our Freedom of Information site.