Drugs: Shortages

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 24th January 2019.

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Photo of Ivan Lewis Ivan Lewis Independent, Bury South

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to (a) monitor and (b) mitigate the risks to patient safety that could result from a Serious Shortage Protocol and planning for the UK leaving the EU without a deal; and if he will make a statement.

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

Serious shortage protocols can help patients get timely access to medicines. In order to monitor and mitigate the risks to patient safety that could result from a serious shortage protocol, any protocol would only be introduced if clinicians with expertise in the relevant area think it is appropriate. Pharmacists still have to use their professional discretion as to whether supplying against the protocol rather than the prescription is appropriate, or whether the patient needs to be referred back to their prescriber.

The operation of the serious shortage protocol legislation will be reviewed one year after the first protocol has been issued.

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