4 Mar 2019

Government faces legal challenge over no-deal Brexit medicine shortages plan

Health and Social Care Editor

As the Health Secretary Matt Hancock was telling MPs about how the Channel Tunnel will help with the supply of medicines if the UK leaves the EU without a deal, the government was being threatened with a judicial review over its plans to prevent a break in supply.

The so-called ‘Serious Shortage Protocol’ was brought in by the Department of Health in January. It was meant to allow pharmacists to substitute medicines if a particular brand of drugs was not available. But lawyers, backed by a number of charities, say this was done without consultation and could put patients’ lives at risk.