Information for patients on how they will continue to receive medicines and treatment, if the UK leaves the EU without a deal on 29 March
The government is working with pharmaceutical companies, suppliers, and the NHS to make sure patients continue to receive the medication they need if the UK leaves the EU without a deal. Around three quarters of the medicines and over half the devices and one-use medical products, such as syringes, that the NHS uses, come into the UK via the EU.
The Government has analysed the supply chain, made plans to reduce the risk of disruption, and given instructions to pharmaceutical companies to ensure that they have adequate stocks to cope with any potential delays at the border. We are confident that, if everyone does what they should do, the supply of medicines and other medical supplies will be uninterrupted in the event of exiting the EU without a deal.
This means if your doctor prescribes you with medicines or special equipment for a health condition, you should still be able to get the treatment you need from your GP or pharmacist. Occasionally we do experience temporary shortages of specific medicines. If this happens, your doctor will prescribe the best alternative to your usual medication – this is a tried and tested system.
If there are any shortages of particular medicines after EU Exit, the same system will be in place – your doctor will advise you of the best alternative to treat your condition. This is a UK-wide policy. The Department of Health and Social Care in England is working with counterparts in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales to deliver the uninterrupted supplies people expect.