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HDA UK Media and Political Bulletin – 28 May 2021

Media Summary

 There was no media coverage today.

 Parliamentary Coverage

Serious shortage protocols: one-year policy review
The Department of Health and Social Care, 27 May 2021

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) reported that in the 12 months since Serious Shortage Protocols (SSPs) have been introduced, DHSC has not been aware of any concerns raised about the effect on the medicines market or on patient safety for any of the SSPs that have been issued to date.

Supply problems can arise for various reasons such as manufacturing issues, problems with the raw ingredients and batch failures. SSPs under the Human Medicines Regulations 2012 (HMRs) are an additional tool to manage and mitigate medicines shortages. An SSP enables community pharmacists to supply a specified medicine in accordance with a protocol rather than a prescription, without needing to seek authorisation from the prescriber, saving time for patients, pharmacists and prescribers. They are only used in the case of a serious shortage, where a medicine would be likely to be out of stock for some time, and if, in the opinion of ministers, it would help manage the supply situation. To date, 12 SSPs have been issued.

Engagement with stakeholders has shown that SSPs have received a largely positive reception and are viewed as being beneficial, both in managing medicines shortages and in saving time. Medicine shortages are an ongoing issue and DHSC continues to closely monitor the SSP policy to ensure that patients, pharmacists and prescribers continue to benefit from the use of SSPs, and that SSPs are safe for patients and do not distort the medicines markets.

Full Coverage

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HDA UK Media and Political Bulletin – 28 May 2021

From Factory to Pharmacy

As part of our mission to build awareness, understanding and appreciation of the vital importance of the healthcare distribution sector, we developed an infographic explaining the availability of medicines. It identifies the factors that can impact drug supply, as well as the measures that HDA members undertake day in, day out to help mitigate the risks of patients not receiving their medicines.

See the Infographic

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