The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care is in favor of the continuity of medical supplies if the UK is to exit the EU without a deal. A statement by Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care supports the continuity of supply of medicines and medical products if the UK is to leave the EU without a deal on 31 October. It stated-“The multi-layered approach put in place by my department remains essential to help ensure the continuation of medicines and medical supplies across the UK if we leave without a deal.”
The proposal to buffer stocks involves a range of national measures and help of industry that are designed to provide contingent measures for medicines, medical devices, and clinical consumables, blood and transplants, vaccines and countermeasures, supplies for clinical trials and non-clinical goods and services. Contracts have been signed by the government for extra warehouse space, the statement stated. This is to sufficient space to store stockpiled medicines ahead of Brexit on 31 October if the UK were to leave without a deal. Eight companies were successfully allocated to the freight procurement framework in September by the Department of Transport, which also announced two call-off mini-competitions, which set out the government’s freight requirements in preparation for leaving the EU. “My department is also leading a procurement for an ‘express freight service’ to provide access to an end-to-end solution for medical products to deliver small parcel consignments and pallets,” said Hancock.
The DHSC has said it has placed legislation in place to allow ministers to issue serious shortage protocols that make community pharmacies able to supply against a protocol, for example, to provide a substitute medication instead of the prescribed medication without going back to the prescriber first. As a reaction to the statement, Steve Bates OBE, Chief Executive of the UK BioIndustry Association released a statement saying: “I ask all companies that are seeking to use the government procured supply routes to import and export medicines in the event of a no-deal to register their interest immediately.”