Coronavirus: Salbutamol

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 6th April 2020.

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Photo of Lord Mann Lord Mann Non-affiliated

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to increase the availability of Ventolin; and what consideration they have given to enabling patients with symptoms of COVID-19 to purchase Ventolin without a prescription.

Photo of Lord Bethell Lord Bethell The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

The Department has no current plans to enable salbutamol (for example, Ventolin by GSK) to be purchased over the counter without a prescription. The sale, supply and administration of prescription-only medicines, like Ventolin, are restricted by the Human Medicines Regulations 2012 which are designed to protect the public. The main route by which a pharmacist is able to sell or supply a prescription-only medicine is under the authority of a prescription.

The country is well prepared to deal with the impacts of COVID-19 and we have stockpiles of certain medicines, including salbutamol, in the event of any supply issues or significant increases in demand.

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