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27 June 2019

Gov announces further measures for medicine supplies in case of no-deal Brexit

The Government has announced further measures to ensure there will be an uninterrupted supply of medicines if the UK leaves the European Union without a deal on 31 October.

A Government spokesperson stressed that leaving the EU with a deal remains its priority, but said it has enhanced its 'no deal' arrangements with two additional measures to secure freight with the capacity to enable a continued supply of medications.

The two-part plan includes:

  • An express freight service to transport small medical supplies into the UK on a 24 hour basis. This is being led by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC)and will be a response to any urgent need or where a supplier's own plans experience disruption
  • Additional 'roll-on, roll-off' freight capacity to support plans by suppliers to re-route their supply chains away from the channel short straits. This is being led by the Department of Transport and will prioritise medicines and medical products.

These extra measures are in addition to those put in place by the DHSC ahead of the original Brexit deadline of 29 March. The plans  are designed to remove the need for any stockpiling at a local level which could cause medicine shortages and put patient care at risk.

David Liddington's statement

In a written ministerial statement, David Liddington MP said that the supply of critical 'category 1' goods, including medicines and medical products, remains an "essential element of the Government's No Deal contingency planning".

This is part of a multi-layered approach which includes rerouting medical supplies from the short strait crossings, extra warehouse space, stockpiling, buffer stocks, clarifying regulatory requirements, supporting traders to have all necessary paperwork in place at the border, and strengthening the processes used to deal with shortages.

Further information

The Government has already asked pharmaceutical companies to ensure they have a six-week supply of prescription-only and pharmacy-only medicines in place in case of delays caused by a no-deal Brexit. You can read more about this here. 

You can also read advice from our Medical Director, Professor Ley Sander on how to cope if there is a shortage of your medication

NHS advice on getting your medicines  in the event of a no-deal Brexit