August 4, 2020
Picture: Joshua Coleman
According to the Department of Health and Social Welfare (DHSC), pharmaceutical companies should store goods worth six weeks "to ensure the continuity of medical supplies to and from the UK".
In one Letter to the industry Steve Oldfield, Chief Commercial Officer, recognizes the impact of COVID-19 on the sector and the burden on the supply chain. Given that there are no plans to extend Brexit beyond December 31, the government is aware that leaving without an agreement can disrupt the supply chain.
The announcement states that the focus should now be on reducing potential UK supply disruptions across all categories of medical supplies, including medicines, medical devices and clinical supplies, clinical trial supplies, products of human origin (blood and transplant items). as well as vaccines and countermeasures.
The government is asking suppliers to draw up “flexible mitigation and preparedness plans to prepare for new border and customs procedures” and to point out that all scenarios need to be planned, for example to reduce traffic flow at short canal crossings such as Dover and Calais. With a significant percentage of medical care coming from or through the EU, the government must still have a priority "to keep replenishment rates at the required level by ensuring capacity to direct cargo away from the potential breakdown points of the short straits". Therefore, it asks companies to check current logistics to avoid these routes.
Given the fact that global supply chains have been put under enormous strain due to COVID-19, the letter urges "companies to make inventory an important part of contingency plans and, if possible, to ask industry to keep inventories at a target level of To hold 6 weeks ”. Total stock on British soil ”.
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