Lords demand clarity on how a no-deal Brexit could affect medicines

A letter has been sent to the health secretary, demanding answers about how a no-deal Brexit may affect the transit of medicines

The House of Lords EU Home Affairs Sub-Committee last week wrote to Matt Hancock, asking for clarity on the government’s contingency preparations to ensure the UK has continued access to medicines and medical products in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

The letter follows an evidence session the committee held with witnesses from Nuffield Trust, British Association of European Pharmaceutical Distributors and evidence given by officials from DHSC during a private briefing.

The evidence received suggests there is still concern that a no-deal Brexit may limit the availability of medicines and medical products in the UK.

The government’s current guidance is to stockpile six weeks’ worth of medicines and medical products in the event of blockages at borders. However, medicines with short shelf lives cannot be stockpiled and would have to be flown in.

In the letter, the committee ask the government what consideration it has taken into the expense of flying in medical supplies for a six week period, and what work has been undertaken to ensure the import of medicines and medical products is treated as a priority.

The full letter can be read here.

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