NHS: Drugs

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 10th July 2019.

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Photo of Ben Lake Ben Lake Plaid Cymru, Ceredigion

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions he has had with his EU counterparts on the supply of medicines from other EU member states in the event that the UK leaves the EU without an agreement.

Photo of Ben Lake Ben Lake Plaid Cymru, Ceredigion

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential effect on the ability of suppliers of medicines based in the EU to maintain medical supplies to the UK in the event that the UK leaves the EU.

Photo of Ben Lake Ben Lake Plaid Cymru, Ceredigion

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions he has had with his European Union counterparts on the maintenance of supply of medicines from the EU to the UK in the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

Photo of Ben Lake Ben Lake Plaid Cymru, Ceredigion

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effect on the finances of medicine suppliers in the UK of stockpiling an additional six weeks supply of medicines in the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

Photo of Ben Lake Ben Lake Plaid Cymru, Ceredigion

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much his Department spent from the public purse on additional warehouse space to stockpile medicines in advance of (a) the 29 March 2019 and (b) the 31 October 2019 deadline to prepare for the UK leaving the EU without a deal.

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

The Government maintains that leaving the European Union with a deal is the best exit outcome and has strongly expressed its opposition to leaving without a deal, in line with the position consistently expressed by Parliament. However, leaving without a deal on 31 October 2019 remains the legal default at the end of the Article 50 extension period if no withdrawal agreement is agreed. Therefore, as a responsible Government, we will continue to prepare to minimise any disruption to the supply of medicines and medical products in a ‘no deal’ scenario.

The Department continues to work closely with the devolved administrations, relevant EU member states, industry trade bodies and suppliers, the National Health Service and our other main stakeholders to ensure that we are prepared for leaving the EU without a deal in October.

On 26 June, we wrote to suppliers of medicines to the United Kingdom from or via the EU or European Economic Area setting out our continuing multi-layered approach to ensure the continuity of supply of all medicines and medical products in a potential ‘no deal’ scenario on 31 October. Further details can be found at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/medicines-and-medical-products-supply-government-updates-no-deal-brexit-plans

We recognise that suppliers may incur additional storage costs for stockpiling medicines or switching to air freight We have been working closely with industry to minimise costs and support medicine suppliers taking part in the contingency programme.

The provision for additional warehouse space procured for a possible 29 March ‘no deal’ exit remains available for the 31 October deadline. The Department expects to spend around £11 million over the life of these contracts.

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