Brexit is on the horizon.
The UK is currently set to leave the European Union, following a “Leave” result in the 2016 referendum. We don’t know yet exactly how this will pan out, although the likelihood of a no deal Brexit is looking increasingly likely. But how will this effect your prescriptions? There are already widespread reports of delays in Pharmacies due to unavailable medication, even for relatively common drugs. Many patients report being negatively affected by this, as drug shortages potentially endanger many.
For your information, we can share with you the following medications which our suppliers have expressed concern about, either because there are worries around availability or because the prices are already rising as a result of stockpiling; leading to real concerns over post-Brexit costs and supply.
Medication With Sharp Price Increases or Low Availability:
Acamprosate (Campral) – prescribed alongside counselling to treat alcohol dependence.
Aciclovir (Acyclovir) – an antiviral medication primarily used for the treatment of herpes simplex virus infections, chickenpox, and shingles.
Allopurinol – to decrease high blood uric acid levels. It is specifically used to prevent gout, prevent specific types of kidney stones and for the high uric acid levels that can occur with chemotherapy.
Amlodipine – is a medication used to treat hypertension (high blood pressure) and coronary artery disease.
Baclofen – to treat spasticity. It is used as a central nervous system depressant and skeletal muscle relaxant.
Bendroflumethiazide – used in the management of hypertension (high blood pressure). Brinzolamide Eye Drops– used to treat ocular hypertension and open-angle glaucoma.
Calcipotriol ointment – for the treatment of psoriasis.
Candesartan – used for the treatment of hypertension and congestive heart failure.
Cetirizine – a second-generation antihistamine.
Citalopram – an antidepressant used to treat major depressive disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, panic disorder, and social phobia.
Co-careldopa – used to manage the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
Co-codamol tablets – pain relief when ibuprofen, aspirin, or naproxen alone do not sufficiently relieve a patient’s symptoms.
Cyclizine – a medication used to treat and prevent nausea, vomiting and dizziness due to motion sickness or vertigo.
Desogestrel (Cerelle) – a progestin medication which is used in birth control pills for women. It is also used in the treatment of menopausal symptoms in women.
Dihydrocodeine – prescribed for pain or severe dyspnea.
Dispersible Aspirin tablets – to treat pain, fever, or inflammation.
Dosulepin (Prothiaden) – is used in the treatment of depression.
Doxycycline – an antibiotic used in the treatment of pneumonia, acne, chlamydia infections, early Lyme disease, cholera and syphilis.
Esomeprazole (Nexium) – a proton-pump inhibitor which reduces stomach acid.
Exemestane (Aromasin) – a medication used to treat breast cancer.
Finasteride (Proscar/Propecia) – to treat an enlarged prostate or scalp hair loss in men. It can also be used to treat excessive hair growth in women and as a part of hormone therapy for transgender women.
Glimepiride (Amaryl) – an anti-diabetic medication.
Hydrocortisone – a steroid medicine that is used in the treatment of many different conditions, including allergic disorders, skin conditions, ulcerative colitis, arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis, or lung disorders.
Hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) – used for the prevention and treatment of certain types of malaria as well as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and porphyria cutanea tarda.
Irbesartan – used for the treatment of hypertension (high blood pressure).
Lansoprazole – to control the stomach’s production of gastric acid, effectively controlling pH inside the stomach.
Liquid Carbamazepine (Tegretol) – to treat epilepsy, neuropathic pain, and schizophrenia.
Lisinopril – to treat hypertension (high blood pressure), heart failure, and after heart attacks.
Lofepramine (Gamanil/Lomont/Tymelyt) – a tricyclic antidepressant which is used to treat depression.
Losartan (Cozaar) – used to treat hypertension (high blood pressure). Other uses include for diabetic kidney disease, heart failure, and left ventricular enlargement.
Meloxicam (Mobic) – anti-inflammatory drug used to treat pain and inflammation in rheumatic diseases and osteoarthritis.
Metformin (Glucophage) – type 2 diabetes medication.
Metoclopramide – commonly used to treat and prevent nausea and vomiting, to help with emptying of the stomach in people with delayed stomach emptying, gastroenteritis and to help with gastroesophageal reflux disease. It is also used to treat migraine headaches.
Metronidazole (Flagyl) – used either alone or with other antibiotics to treat pelvic inflammatory disease, endocarditis, and bacterial vaginosis.
Naproxen (Aleve/Naprosyn) – an anti-inflammatory used to treat pain, menstrual cramps, inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, and fever.
Nebivolol – used for the treatment of hypertension (high blood pressure).
Nifedipine (Adalat) – used to manage angina, hypertension (high blood pressure), Raynaud’s phenomenon, and premature labour.
Nortriptyline (Allegron/Aventyl/Noritren/Nortrilen/Pamelor) – used to treat clinical depression. Another licensed use for it is in the treatment of childhood bedwetting
Olanzapine (Zyprexa) – an antipsychotic primarily used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
Olmesartan – used for the treatment of hypertension (high blood pressure).
Omeprazole – is a medication used in the treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease, peptic ulcer disease, and Zollinger–Ellison syndrome.
Oxybutynin – to relieve urinary and bladder difficulties, including frequent urination and inability to control urination, by decreasing muscle spasms of the bladder. It is also given to help with symptoms associated with kidney stones.
Prednisolone – a steroid medication used to treat certain types of allergies, inflammatory conditions, autoimmune disorders, and cancers.
Pregabalin (Lyrica) – used to treat epilepsy, neuropathic pain, fibromyalgia, restless leg syndrome, and generalized anxiety disorder.
Quetiapine (Seroquel) – an antipsychotic used for the treatment of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depressive disorder.
Rasagiline – used as a monotherapy to treat symptoms in early Parkinson’s disease or as an adjunct therapy in more advanced cases.
Ramipril – used to treat high blood pressure and congestive heart failure.
Risperidone (Risperdal) – an antipsychotic used to treat schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and irritability associated with autism.
Ropinirole – used in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease and restless legs syndrome.
Sertraline (Zoloft) – an antidepressant medication used to treat major depressive disorder, obsessive–compulsive disorder, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, and social anxiety disorder.
Sildenafil (Viagra) – used to treat erectile dysfunction and pulmonary arterial hypertension.
Sodium valproate (or valproate sodium) – an anticonvulsant used in the treatment of epilepsy, anorexia nervosa, panic attack, anxiety disorder, post traumatic stress disorder, migraine and bipolar disorder, as well as other psychiatric conditions requiring the administration of a mood stabiliser.
Sotalol – to treat abnormal heart rhythms.
Tamsulosin (Flomax) – for symptomatic benign prostatic hyperplasia, chronic prostatitis, and to help with the passage of kidney stones.
Telmisartan – used in the management of hypertension (high blood pressure).
Tibolone – for menopausal hormone therapy and in the treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis and endometriosis.
Valsartan – mainly used for treatment of high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, and to increase the chances of living longer after a heart attack.
Venlafaxine (Effexor) – an antidepressant medication used to treat major depressive disorder, generalised anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and social phobia.
Zopiclone – used in the treatment of insomnia.
Who are we and how do we know?
This list was compiled from our most up to date information from our UK suppliers and is not exhaustive. These are the same pharmaceutical suppliers that supply all NHS hospitals and GP surgeries. e-Surgery is an online Doctor and Pharmacy service serving the whole UK. Our mission is to make seeing a private doctor affordable for everyone.
My medication is on the list! Should I be worried?
No, the government has put in place a number of precautions to prevent medication shortages regardless of what happens during Brexit. However, make sure to voice your concerns to your local Pharmacist. They’re a fantastic resource and can give you more up to date information on any medication that might be an issue and in case of any delays in obtaining them will know exactly what to do.
If you have any more questions about medication availability, fill out the form below and we’ll do our best to help. Have a healthcare related question and want to ask a professional? If ever in doubt check out our completely free Ask-a-Pharmacist service! Our aim is to make sure that you have access to the medical professionals you need in order to make informed decisions about your health. Your Health, Your Way.