Impact of Brexit on Pharmacy – what we know so far…



  1. The EU Falsified Medicines Directive (FMD) was implemented into UK law and was intended to affect all EU member states from February 9, 2019.

FMD required all new packs of prescription medicines in Europe to bear two new safety features: an anti-tampering device (ATD), and a unique identifier (UI) in the form of a barcode. This data will be registered on a database called the European Medicines Verification System (EMVS). To ensure compliance, community pharmacies in the UK must prior to supplying a prescription medicine to a patient check the ATD and scan the barcode.

However, in the event of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has confirmed that pharmacies will have no legal obligation to comply.


  1. EU regulations governing the sale of medicines online came into force in the UK on 1 July 2015. It required online medicines retailers based in the UK  to be registeredwith the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and display the official EU common logo. The logo has to be displayed on every page of the website and will automatically link to the MHRA registered entry confirming the site is legitimate. Failure to adhere to the new regulations could mean you face two years in prison or a fine or both.

However, in a scenario where UK leaves without an agreement, UK-based online sellers would no longer be required to do this. For the UK market, the MHRA propose exploring the use of new ‘UK logo’ for UK-based online sellers from 2021.

  1. Supply chain – “Getting medicines to pharmacies is a complex process. If European supply chains are disrupted, there could be shortages” Ash Soni
  2. Work force – Brexit could lead to a major nationwide shortage of pharmacists available for work

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