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No-deal Brexit could lead to medicine shortages

Since Boris Johnson was assigned as the Prime Minister the possibility of the UK to leave the European Union (EU) immediately on 31st October 2019 (no-deal Brexit) has significantly increased. With no agreements in place about what the relationship between the UK and EU will be like in the future; consumers, businesses and public bodies would have to respond immediately to changes as a result of leaving the EU. Major concern is striking the pharmaceutical industry; worries of a no-deal Brexit could result in medicine shortage, which could leave patients unable to access new medication.

About three quarters of the medicines and most of the clinical products we use come from or via the EU. A no-deal Brexit could lead to reduced traffic flow and delays between the ports of Calais and Dover or Folkestone, thus increasing the risk to supply medicines to the UK. The government has been urging pharmaceutical companies to stockpile six weeks’ worth of vital medicines. It also plans to buy warehouse space and obtain additional freight capacity for transporting medical goods to the UK. Ministers and NHS leaders express every effort is being made to ensure there will be sufficient medicines and clinical equipment available in the event of delays to imports from the EU. However, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society warned that pharmacists are having difficulty in obtaining common medicines, including painkillers and anti-depressants, they are worried about patients who may be unable to receive the medication they need.

The Brexit Health Alliance, a group made up of the NHS, industry bodies, medical bodies including the ABPI, patients and public health organisations predicts what a no-deal Brexit might look like. The BHA estimates 120,000 prostate cancer patients throughout Europe could be affected. With 82 million patient medication packs travelling between the UK and EU each month, prostate cancer medicine supplies may be at major risk if the UK and EU fail to agree on negotiations of medicines regulation.

What can be done to prepare for the event of a no-deal Brexit?

The government has announced funding of £434m to make sure vital medicines and medical products are available. Other measures which can be taken include: extra warehouse space for medicines, securing additional roll on, roll-off freight capacity in ports away from Dover and Folkestone, producing buffer stocks, booking plane space for products requiring immediate shipment, making changes to regulatory requirements, strengthening processes to deal with shortages.

What can we do at Crown Couriers to help?

With our fleet of over 500 vehicles, fast response time of one hour from booking, operating 24/365 nationwide across the UK we can support the pharmaceutical industry with transportation of medications/clinical products quickly and efficiently. When it comes to healthcare and pharmaceutical deliveries, sensitivity and confidentiality are of the highest concern. Our specially trained and security cleared drivers are already helping the healthcare sector with making sure medications/clinical products are delivered on time to both pharmacies and patients. Our valuable experience in working with healthcare providers, means we understand the specific demands of the industry. Complementary to our courier service, our modern and secure warehouse enables us to provide the complete logistical solution. The 11, 500 square feet warehouse is located in Tamworth next to excellent transport links. If you require storage space for stockpiling we can help.

Get in touch today to find out how we can help you. We can support the pharmaceutical industry so that the supply of medicines and medical products will be uninterrupted in the event of a no-deal brexit.

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