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Leaving the EU: Medicines and Medical Equipment

Health and Social Care – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 27th November 2018.

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Photo of Adrian Bailey Adrian Bailey Labour/Co-operative, West Bromwich West 12:00 am, 27th November 2018

What assessment he has made of the effect of the UK leaving the EU on the ability of the NHS to access medicines and medical equipment.

Photo of Emma Reynolds Emma Reynolds Labour, Wolverhampton North East

What assessment he has made of the effect of the UK leaving the EU on the ability of the NHS to access medicines and medical equipment.

Photo of Matthew Hancock Matthew Hancock Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

The deal that the Prime Minister struck to leave the EU will ensure access to medicines and medical equipment, so it is another good reason to vote for the deal.

Photo of Adrian Bailey Adrian Bailey Labour/Co-operative, West Bromwich West

In the event of no deal, what steps would be taken to secure the supply of medicines beyond the six-week stockpile that has been recommended by the Government to the drug companies?

Photo of Matthew Hancock Matthew Hancock Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

Well, of course, while voting for the deal is the best way to ensure the unhindered supply of medicines and medical devices, as a responsible Government we are also planning for the unlikely event of no deal, and that planning includes ensuring that we can continue to get unhindered access after the six weeks for which we are making sure that supplies are available.

Photo of Emma Reynolds Emma Reynolds Labour, Wolverhampton North East

We are currently an influential member of the European Medicines Agency, which gives patients access to new medicines six months sooner than non-members. Given that the political declaration reduces us to exploring the possibility of co-operation with the EMA, will the Secretary of State admit that there are no guarantees for patients and that it is very likely that they will have to wait longer?

Photo of Matthew Hancock Matthew Hancock Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

No, because in the event, under any circumstances, we will make sure that there are no further burdens on ensuring that medicines can get licensed here so that patients can use them, but it is another reason why the hon. Lady should vote for the deal.

Photo of Anna Soubry Anna Soubry Conservative, Broxtowe

Many people say that the much-heralded £20 billion extra for the NHS is some sort of Brexit dividend. In the event that our country remains in the European Union, will the Secretary of State confirm that that extra 3.4% a year will continue and that £20 billion will be made available to our NHS?

Photo of Matthew Hancock Matthew Hancock Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

I am afraid that I will have to let my right hon. Friend know that we are leaving the European Union on 29 March.