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Joint agreement on supply chain issues

UK Industry representatives agree to endorse existing legal framework to control the appropriate and continued supply of branded medicines
Representatives of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), the British Association of Pharmaceutical Wholesalers (BAPW), the Department of Health (DH), the Dispensing Doctors' Association, the Ethical Medicines Industry Group (EMIG), the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), the General Practitioners' Committee of the British Medical Association, the National Pharmacy Association, the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, have agreed to endorse and support the promotion of the existing legal and ethical obligations in relation to the trading of medicines in short supply.
The obligations on manufacturers, wholesalers, NHS Trusts, registered pharmacies and dispensing doctors in relation to the supply and trading of medicines are outlined in the guidance note: Trading Medicines for Human Use: Shortages and Supply Chain Obligations, which will be published jointly by the partner organisations on November 12, 2009.

According to PSNC chief executive Sue Sharpe: "The clarification of the legal and ethical position is helpful for all and a positive first outcome from this joint working. We will continue to work with partner organisations to identify further action that could be taken to help relieve the current problems and to reduce the burden on pharmacy contractors."

ABPI commercial director, David Fisher commented: "The current situation cannot be allowed to continue. The ongoing diversion of UK stock into Europe is causing real difficulties for patients, pharmacists and industry. People's responsibilities are now crystal clear - they must put the UK patient first, and it is heartening that all sides in the UK supply chain have come together to ratify the obligations of individuals."

16th November 2009


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