UK – Pharma calls for more detail on plan for post Brexit meds access

The pharmaceutical industry is calling on the government to urgently provide more detail on how it plans to ensure a continued supply of medicines should the UK leave the EU under a ‘no-deal’ scenario.

The move follows publication of an open letter by Health Secretary Matt Hancock touching on the government’s preparations in the event that an agreement is not finalised.

According to Hancock, the European Commission has made it clear that under a ‘no deal’ scenario it will impose ‘full third country controls’ on people and goods entering the EU from the UK, the impact of which would likely be felt most on the short straits crossings into Dover and Folkestone, potentially affecting medicines supply.

“The revised cross-Government planning assumptions show that there will be significantly reduced access across the short straits, for up to six months,” he said.

The government has already asked that pharma companies stockpile medicines as part of a UK-wide ‘no deal’ contingency plan, but “it is clear that in light of the changed border assumptions…this will now need to be supplemented with additional actions,” Hancock noted, adding: “I am writing in parallel to pharmaceutical companies, and my officials will continue to work closely with these companies to develop our plans”.