Leaving the EU: Health and Social Care — [Mr Peter Bone in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 9:49 am on 19th March 2019.

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Photo of John Howell John Howell Conservative, Henley 9:49 am, 19th March 2019

It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Bone, and to follow Brendan O'Hara. Above all, this debate allows a reasonable discussion of the issue, which I hope we can have, but I was struck by the similarity between it and last night’s debate in the main Chamber. Like the hon. Gentleman, I am aware of constituents who have expressed their great problems in getting drugs for two conditions, in particular: insulin for diabetes and the drugs required for cystic fibrosis. Cystic fibrosis is a particularly horrible disease that requires a continuous supply of drugs, so I can understand the concerns.

Throughout all the discussions on this matter, I have been conscious of the lack of objectivity from anyone, including the medical profession. The hon. Gentleman seems to think that those in the profession can stand aside and take an independent line, but I do not believe that is true or that what they say is necessarily helpful. Allow me to pick up where the Minister left off: the guidance published by the Government for pharmacists and members of the public is not to stockpile medicines. As part of the Brexit contingency measures, the Department of Health and Social Care has asked drug manufacturers to ensure they have a six-week buffer stock, on top of the three months already in place, but the public do not need to stockpile medicines.