Isle of Man prescriptions could be cut amid Brexit shortage fears

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Image caption,
Pharmacists would be given the powers to limit or change prescriptions

Community pharmacists on the Isle of Man could be given the power to limit or change prescription medicines amid fears of shortages following Brexit.

Health Minister David Ashford will ask Tynwald to approve bringing in a Serious Shortages Protocol (SSP) later this month.

It would give pharmacists the ability to amend prescriptions without a doctor's approval.

If backed by politicians, the SSP would come into force on 1 December.

Mr Ashford said the measure was being considered to "shore-up supplies in the event a difficult scenario arises, including after the UK's eventual departure from the EU".

Worldwide shortages of drugs over the past 18 months have been caused by manufacturing problems and a shortage of raw materials.

Fears of further shortages after Brexit were first raised in January, when supplies held at Noble's hospital were increased from four weeks' worth to six while Brexit talks continued.

Island pharmacies have an agreement to keep the same rights of supply as UK pharmacies.

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