Minister gives assurances on healthcare supplies post-Brexit

Minister gives assurances on healthcare supplies post-Brexit

Health minister, Stephen Hammond MP, has given an assurance that the Government’s ‘no deal’ EU Exit contingency plans for 31 October will cover the NHS, social care and the independent sector and include all medicines, medical devices and clinical consumables, supplies for clinical trials, vaccines and countermeasures, and organs and tissues for transplants.

The Minister was replying to a question from Hugh Gaffney, a Welsh Labour MP who asked what recent assessment had been made of the availability of critical and short shelf-life medicines in the event of the UK leaving the EU without a deal.

Mr Hammond said that the Government fully understood that maintaining access to all medicines and medical products, including critical medicines and short shelf-life products, was vitally important to millions of people in this country. ‘Ensuring unhindered supply of these products remains the Government’s top priority’ he claimed.

The Minister added that the Department had continued to work closely with the Devolved Administrations, industry trade bodies and suppliers, the NHS and other key stakeholders. Prior to 29 March, (the previous deadline for leaving the EU) the Department had analysed the supply chains of 12,300 medicines, close to half a million product lines of medical devices and clinical consumables, vaccines used in national and local programmes, and essential non-clinical goods on which the health and care system relies. ‘These analyses and assessments have been updated where necessary and will continue to be refined while a ‘no deal’ EU Exit remains a possibility’, he reassured the House.

He said: “Our contingency measures aim to support industry-led measures and, where required, act as a ‘last resort’ to be used only when a supplier’s alternative arrangements encounter difficulties, to ensure uninterrupted supply. While we never give guarantees, we are confident that, if everyone – including suppliers, freight companies, international partners and the health and care system – does what they need to do, the supply of medicines and medical products should be uninterrupted in the event of a no-deal EU Exit.”

Further details can be found at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/medicines-and-medical-products-supply-government-updates-no-deal-brexit-plans

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