Cookie policy: This site uses cookies (small files stored on your computer) to simplify and improve your experience of this website. Cookies are small text files stored on the device you are using to access this website. For more information please take a look at our terms and conditions. Some parts of the site may not work properly if you choose not to accept cookies.

Join

Subscribe or Register

Existing user? Login

Brexit

Medicines could be delayed at the UK/EU border for six months under a 'no-deal' Brexit, warns DHSC

In the event of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit, the government has said there could be six months of delays for medicines to enter the country in anticipation of “significantly reduced access” into Dover and Folkestone crossings.

Matt Hancock, health and social care secretary,

Source: Shutterstock.com

Matt Hancock, health and social care secretary, said the government is planning for delays to medicines at the UK border for a period of up to six months in the event of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit

The government has warned the health and social care sector that medicines could be delayed at the UK border for a period of up to six months in the event of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit.

In a letter sent on 7 December 2018, Matt Hancock, the health and social care secretary, said revised cross-government planning assumptions show that there will be “significantly reduced access” into Dover and Folkstone crossings for up to six months, “where the frequent and closed-loop nature of these mean that both exports and imports would be affected” by extra checks on people and goods in the case of the UK leaving the EU without a deal.

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) had previously written to the pharmaceutical sector on 23 August 2018, saying that the government was preparing for a six-week stockpile of medicines supply in case of delays at the UK border.

The latest letter said: “The European Commission has made it clear that, in the event of a ‘no deal’ scenario, it will impose full third-country controls on people and goods entering the EU from the UK. Whether this happens or not is in their hands, not ours.”

It added: “The revised cross-government planning assumptions show that there will be significantly reduced access across the short straits, for up to six months.”

The letter noted that as a result of the new planning assumptions, the six-week stockpile of medicines “will now need to be supplemented with additional actions”, but did not give further details on what this might entail.

Mike Thompson, chief executive of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry, said the new planning assumption “is stark” and warned that further stockpiling of medicines “is not the solution to this problem”.

“Pharmaceutical companies continue to do everything in their power to make sure that patients get access to medicines, whatever the Brexit scenario,” he said. “This includes duplicating processes, changing supply routes and stockpiling medicines in line with the government’s guidance. However, we have been clear that there are things which are out of our control.”

Ash Soni, president of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, said: “The conversation that we had with DHSC was that the six weeks of additional stock was for a minimum of six months. It wasn’t just six weeks and then at the end of six weeks it goes back to normal — it was that they have to retain an extra six weeks’ stock for at least six months.”

He added that this plan “should provide greater reassurance for patients and hopefully for pharmacy”.

However, the DHSC told The Pharmaceutical Journal that the six-week stockpile was only intended to sustain supplies through the initial stages after 29 March 2019 when the UK is due to leave the EU.

After this the DHSC said medicines would be prioritised and transported through alternative routes.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2018.20205878

Have your say

For commenting, please login or register as a user and agree to our Community Guidelines. You will be re-directed back to this page where you will have the ability to comment.

Recommended from Pharmaceutical Press

  • BNF and BNF for Children

    BNF and BNF for Children

    Now available as a 1 year print subscription to both the BNF and BNFC, ensuring you have the latest medicines information as it publishes and at a greatly reduced price.

    £138.50Buy now
  • BNF and BNF for Children

    BNF and BNF for Children

    Now available as a 2 year print subscription to both the BNF and BNFC, ensuring you have the latest medicines information as it publishes and at a greatly reduced price.

    £262.50Buy now
  • Pharmaceutical Toxicology

    Pharmaceutical Toxicology

    Explains the methodology and requirements of pre-clinical safety assessments of new medicines. Includes registration requirements and pharmacovigilance.

    £40.00Buy now
  • Strategic Medicines Management

    Strategic Medicines Management

    A practical guide to influencing the availability of medicines, and policies of their use. Focuses on the strategic elements of medicines management.

    £33.00Buy now
  • Introduction to Clinical Pharmaceutics (An)

    Introduction to Clinical Pharmaceutics (An)

    This unique textbook covers the role of basic pharmaceutics in clinical outcomes and in explaining the behaviour of medicines in the body.

    £27.00Buy now

Search an extensive range of the world’s most trusted resources

Powered by MedicinesComplete
  • Print
  • Share
  • Comment
  • Save
  • Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF

Jobs you might like

Newsletter Sign-up

Want to keep up with the latest news, comment and CPD articles in pharmacy and science? Subscribe to our free alerts.