UK: New restrictions on parallel exports to tackle HRT shortages

Times India Today | : Oct 04,2019 06:31 PM IST

There will be new restrictions on exporting hormone replacement therapy (HRT) products, which currently face supply shortages due to manufacturing issues.

The government has confirmed new restrictions on the export of all variations of HRT products, some of which currently face supply shortages due to manufacturing issues.

The restrictions will stop some medicine wholesalers from ‘parallel exporting’. This is when companies buy medicines meant for UK patients and sell them on for a higher price in another country, potentially causing supply problems.

Around 360,000 prescriptions of HRT are dispensed a month to relieve symptoms of the menopause. Currently, some HRT drugs are being parallel exported. The new restrictions will end this practice to ensure people can still access the medicines they need.

Nineteen HRT drugs will be subject to export restrictions to ensure that alternatives remain available for the HRT drugs that are in short supply. Similar measures are in place in other European countries, including France and Spain.

New restrictions for a further 5 medicines, including all adrenaline auto-injectors and hepatitis B vaccines, have also come into force to protect supplies of these products for patients.

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has been working closely with affected suppliers to monitor the situation and reduce the potential impact on patients. The new measures will further reduce the impact on patients.

DHSC has written to holders of wholesale dealer licences to tell them that the government will exercise its powers to stop parallel exporting of medicines that are needed for UK patients. 

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