Drugs

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 14th April 2020.

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Photo of Taiwo Owatemi Taiwo Owatemi Labour, Coventry North West

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to manufacture more active pharmaceutical ingredients in the UK to prevent medicine shortages.

Photo of Jo Churchill Jo Churchill The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

Holding answer received on 24 March 2020

The Government has no plans to create facilities in the United Kingdom to manufacture further active pharmaceutical ingredients. There are 16,000 medicines on the market in the UK. Whilst some of these are manufactured in the UK, most are manufactured abroad. Where medicines are manufactured here, the active ingredients and excipients for those medicines may be manufactured abroad. It is not realistic to manufacture all 16,000 medicines and the active ingredients and excipients needed for these medicines in the UK.

The production of medicines is complex and highly regulated, and materials and processes must meet rigorous safety and quality standards. Supply problems can affect a wide range of medicines and can arise for various reasons, such as manufacturing issues, problems with the raw ingredients and batch failures. These problems arise regardless of where in the world the manufacture takes place.

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