Radioisotopes

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 28th March 2019.

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Photo of Bridget Phillipson Bridget Phillipson Labour, Houghton and Sunderland South

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of leaving the EU without an agreement on the UK’s ability to access (a) radioactive isotopes to diagnose and treat breast cancer and (b) other such medical materials.

Photo of Stephen Hammond Stephen Hammond Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

Leaving the European Union with a deal remains the Government’s top priority. However, as a responsible Government we must plan for every possible outcome including ‘no deal’. The Department has published guidance to industry and the health and care system to allow them to make informed plans and preparations. This is available on GOV.UK.

The Government has been working closely with industry to ensure the supply of medicines, including medical radioisotopes to diagnose and treat breast cancer, can continue uninterrupted in the event of a ‘no deal’ EU exit.

For any products that require air freight, such as medical radioisotopes, we are continuing to work with all suppliers to ensure this occurs. The Department can confirm that companies supplying the vast majority of medical radioisotopes medicines by volume have air freight routes that are currently operational.

The Department wrote to all suppliers of medicines to the United Kingdom on 26 March to advise them of the changes to EU exit dates, and ask them to continue with preparations to protect patients in all possible outcomes.

We are confident that, if everyone does what they need to do, the supply of medicines and medical products will be uninterrupted.

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