UK Government tells medicine suppliers to stockpile drugs for no-deal Brexit despite coronavirus concerns

Photo by Rennett Stowe

The UK government has contacted drug suppliers asking them to keep medication for a potential Brexit out of stock, despite the pressure the coronavirus pandemic has put on their current inventory.

The government wants to ensure the supply of the population and the National Health Service.

The letter signed by Steve Oldfield, the Chief Commercial Officer of the Department of Health and Social Affairs, said: “Holding additional shares in the UK provides another buffer against disruption and we believe that where possible, this is a valuable part of which is a robust emergency plan. In order to build on previous work and ensure a coordinated approach, we will ask suppliers to confirm their contingency plans for the end of the transition period, and in particular the balance between UK warehousing and departure from the short road and willingness for new customs and border regulations . "

“We are aware that global supply chains are under considerable pressure, which is reinforced by the recent events with Covid-19. However, we encourage companies to make inventory an important part of the contingency plans and, wherever possible, encourage industry to keep inventory on British soil at a target level of six weeks. "

Last month, Prime Minister Boris Johnson refused to extend the Brexit transition period despite the coronavirus crisis putting increasing pressure on the economy and pharmaceutical inventories. This increases the likelihood that the UK will leave the EU without a specific trade agreement, which will significantly disrupt the trade routes and supply chains for pharmaceuticals.

The pharmaceutical industry has warned that due to the pandemic, only a few products will be available under certain conditions if a significant portion of the medication in stock is used.

On its current path, the United Kingdom will leave the EU internal market, customs union and other smooth trade agreements on December 31, 2020.

Conor Kavanagh

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