Update: in January we posted on the “Serious Shortage Protocol” (SSP) as a part of government plans aimed at minimising any disruption to the supply of medical devices and prescription medication in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

As of 9 February 2019 the SSPs have come into force through the Human Medicines (Amendment) Regulations 2019. These new powers will give pharmacists the right to supply a different quantity or pharmaceutical quality of medicine in the event of the U.K. experiencing a serious shortage of prescription medication after Brexit.

In response, the Good Law Project applied to the High Court to issue JR proceedings to challenge the legality of these new powers, citing concerns that the SSPs had been rushed out without proper consultation from clinical and patient groups. According to Good Law Project’s official Facebook page, permission to appeal was refused by the High Court on 18 March 2019. The Good Law Project has asked the Court for an urgent oral permission hearing. No information is presently available as to whether or not this has been granted.

Julia Gillert is a Senior Associate in the Corporate Department of Baker & McKenzie's London office and is a key member of the Healthcare industry group within the London office and European and Global networks. Julia advises both domestic and international companies in the med-tech, pharma and healthcare sectors on a wide range of regulatory and general compliance matters. Julia has contributed to a variety of regulatory healthcare related publications and practice handbooks and co-edits the firm's European Healthcare Newsletter. Julia sits on the ABHI's Legal Issues Committee.