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Human Medicines (Amendment) Regulations

Part of Business of the House (Today) – in the House of Commons at 8:43 pm on 18th March 2019.

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Photo of Helen Goodman Helen Goodman Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs) 8:43 pm, 18th March 2019

Of course what my hon. Friend says about staff shortages and Brexit is absolutely right.

I was going on to say that I have a GlaxoSmithKline factory in my constituency, and obviously I have discussed this issue with it. It is extremely underwhelmed by the Government’s no-deal planning, and extremely under- whelmed by the fact that it is having to pay for these extra stockpiles. All these Brexit costs that are being put on to the industrialists mean that there is less money for research and development, investment, job creation and all the things we would all like to see.

It is notable that there are very high numbers of people with the conditions most likely to be affected. There are 4 million people in this country with diabetes, 500,000 people with epilepsy, and 250,000 people whose allergies are so serious that they need an EpiPen. Given that we clearly have 5 million, 6 million or perhaps 10 million people whose health is likely to be at risk if there are medicine shortages, I would have thought that the Government would have not just done a full risk and impact assessment but produced for us today, alongside the statutory instrument, the protocols. The Minister knows which drugs and conditions we are talking about; surely, given all the problems we have had with the industry, doctors and patient groups not being properly consulted, it would have been sensible to make those protocols at this moment, so we could look at them alongside the statutory instrument. I hope the Minister will come to the Dispatch Box and answer some of these points. She is shaking her head.