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‘New medicine protocol raises Brexit shortage fears’ - Gildernew

11 July, 2019 - by Colm Gildernew

Plans by the Department of Health to introduce a new protocol on medicine shortages suggests Brexit is already having a considerable impact on the availability of treatments in the north, Sinn Féin spokesperson for Carers and Wellbeing Colm Gildernew has said.

The Fermanagh-South Tyrone MLA commented:

“I understand that plans are underway at the Department of Health to introduce a protocol to manage serious shortages in medicines.

“This is a clear indication of a worsening situation in the availability of medicines here. I have been contacted by many constituents who have been experiencing difficulty in accessing medicines, such as Epanutin which is used to treat seizures.

“They have been told by local pharmacists that Brexit planning and contingencies are a factor in this deterioration in medicine supplies.

“Despite numerous concerns which I have raised about the impact of Brexit on the availability of medicines the department has suggested that shortages are due to ongoing persistent problems in the supply-chain and fail to give any clarity as to the real impact Brexit is having.

“However the department needs to clarify why the situation appears to be worsening to the extent that a new protocol to deal with serious shortages is required.

“I have written to the department asking for an explanation on what the new protocol on medicine shortages entails and to what extent Brexit has been a factor in taking this course of action.

“I have also sought a meeting with Community Pharmacy NI to discuss concerns around the availability of medicines as we move closer to Brexit.”

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