The Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain (RPS) has called on the UK government to take immediate action to fight counterfeit medicines from entering the country following the UK’s exit from the European Union.
The RPS, in a letter addressed to Health Secretary Matt Hancock, emphasised the need for rigorous plans to be put in place to maintain formal links with the EU. This will help to authenticate the legitimacy of medicines that move between the EU and the UK.
Under current plans, the UK will cease to benefit from the provisions of the Falsified Medicines Directive (FMD). This ensures that medicines in the EU are legitimate, safe and high-quality.
The RPS has presented concerns that this could leave the UK vulnerable to a swarm of counterfeit medicine entering the supply chain, which could impact patient care in the UK and across the EU.
“In our letter to the Government we have emphasised that establishing technical agreements with the EU is now more critical than ever in our fight against counterfeit medicines. We have made it clear that the ideal way forward is for continuity of the provisions of the Falsified Medicines Directive, enabling ongoing connectivity between the UK and Europe,” said Sandra Gidley, president of the RPS.
“Not only will this help to provide assurances to patients about the safety of their medicines but it will also ensure the UK can continue to benefit from the significant investment made by the NHS, pharmacy organisations and individual pharmacy owners in the infrastructure for FMD,” she added.