NHS: Drugs

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 2nd August 2019.

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Photo of Rosena Allin-Khan Rosena Allin-Khan Shadow Minister (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport) (Sport)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the potential effect of the UK leaving the EU on the supply of drugs to the NHS.

Photo of Chris Skidmore Chris Skidmore Vice-Chair, Conservative Party, Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

The United Kingdom will leave the European Union on 31 October, with or without a deal. The Government would prefer the UK to leave the EU with a deal and, in the event that the UK leaves the EU with a new deal, the Department’s assessment is that access to medicines and medical devices will not change for industry or the National Health Service.

While the Prime Minister is confident that he can strike a new arrangement with the EU, it is vital that we prepare for a ‘no deal’ outcome. Therefore, as a responsible Government, we continue to take steps to ensure the supply of medicines and medical products is uninterrupted in a ‘no deal’ scenario.

On 26 June, we wrote to suppliers of medicines to the UK 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’ exit 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

Ahead of 31 October, all necessary funding will be made available to support our ‘no deal’ preparations. On 1 August, Her Majesty’s Treasury announced an additional £434 million made available to help ensure continuity of supply of vital medicines and medical products, including through freight capacity, warehousing and stockpiling.

We are confident that the Department is doing everything appropriate to prepare for a possible ‘no deal’ EU exit on 31 October. We are working with our partners, including suppliers, freight companies and the health and social care system and our plans should ensure the supply of medicines and medical products remains uninterrupted.

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