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No-deal Brexit may mean stockpiling medicines

No-deal Brexit may mean stockpiling medicines
29.10.2018
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MILWAUKIE, OR – JULY 20: Pharmacist Ed Cole stocks over-the-counter cold medicines at Hi-School Pharmacy store on July 20, 2005 in Milwaukie, Oregon. The Oregon House passed a bill today that would make Oregon the first state to require prescriptions for certain cold medicines that contain Pseudoephedrine, the active ingredient used to make Meth. (Photo by Craig Mitchelldyer/Getty Images)

INDUSTRY leaders announced that the public may have to stockpile medicines if there is a no-deal Brexit.

Martin Sawer, of the Healthcare Distributors Association, told MPs industry was “very concerned” about a no-deal as it could have “catastrophic” consequences for the supply of drugs.

The government has requested firms to start stockpiling a six-week supply of drugs.

Mr Sawer stated there was no need for the public to do the same “yet”, however the picture could change very quickly.

The UK imports 37 million packs of medicine each month from the EU, however even more are exported out of the country.

Worries have been raised that prolonged disruption at the borders could disrupt the supply chain.

Ministers have already asked firms to start stockpiling, although that is logistically difficult for medicines that need refrigerating like insulin and vaccines, or for those with short shelf lives, which some cancer treatments have.

Appearing before the House of Commons’ Health and Social Care Committee, experts said small firms in particular were struggling to stockpile drugs, as they do not have the cash flows to fund reserves of drugs.

Mr Sawer told the cross-party group of MPs: “We need politicians to understand there could be consequences. We are not suggesting anybody needs to stockpile outside of the supply chain yet.

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