Britain is seriously unprepared to maintain access to medicines if there are border delays, health groups warn | Scott Barbour/Getty Images
Health groups warn Brexit drugs supply risk at code ‘red’
NHS providers, companies and patient groups warn of ‘widespread shortages’ if there’s no Brexit deal.
By Helen Collis
Updated 11/8/18, 4:43 PM CET
The U.K. government’s preparations for maintaining drug supplies in the event of a no-deal Brexit are so lacking that the warning level should be raised to “red,” a group of health organizations has said.
National Health Service providers, pharmaceutical companies and patient groups wrote to the government to warn that Britain is seriously unprepared to maintain access to medicines if there are border delays after Brexit.
In the letter to Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock obtained by POLITICO, eight organizations say industry has done all it can in preparing for a cliff-edge Brexit — and that the government needs to take action to prevent widespread drug shortages.
“If this is the reality of U.K. government preparation for No Deal we do not believe that the current medicine supply plans will suffice, and we will have widespread shortages if we do not respond urgently,” the letter dated October 31 says.
Expressing support for Hancock’s “efforts to raise the warning level in Government,” the organizations say: “Only when we start to work through options will we all know where we are, but on medicines supply, on what we know and can glean from public information, we think we are at ‘red’.”
The groups calls on the government to be more transparent “and reveal what cover we have by therapy area and where there are gaps,” so that the signatories can “find further creative solutions to shortages,