In preparation for Brexit, and in the case of a possible ‘no deal’ the Government has outlined a number of plans to mitigate against disruptions to the supply of medicines and medical products.
What is happening?
The UK Government is in the process of negotiating an exit from the European Union (EU) (commonly known as Brexit).
You may have heard lots of discussion in the media about Brexit’s potential impact on the NHS and access to medicines, as well as a number of different deadlines and advice on how to prepare.
To help make things clearer, we’ve pulled together the most recent advice from the Government and NHS, and an update on our response to Brexit.
What is the Government doing?
The Government has issued guidance to providers and suppliers to increase their medicines stocks by at least 6 weeks on top of their usual buffer stocks and has stated that the stock of medical devices will be increased on a national level.
They have also announced their plans to create an ‘express freight service’, which will transport medicines into the UK within 24 hours if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.
Alongside this, the Government has plans to create something called a freight capacity framework agreement. The Government says that this would mean departments will be able to organise the transportation of medicines and medical products in a critical situation as and when required.
What this means for you
You should continue to order and collect your prescription in a timely manner and take the correct dose of your medicine.
The Department of Health’s advice to patients is to keep ordering repeat prescriptions and taking medicines as normal. They advise against ordering extra medications or stockpiling medications.
If you are worried about a particular medicine, please speak to your doctor or pharmacist. They will be able to advise as best they can and offer information on substitution if appropriate to your needs.
What we are doing
Crohn’s & Colitis UK is a politically neutral organisation, and we do not take a position on whether the UK should remain or leave our current EU arrangements.
Concerns around the supply of medications, staffing levels and future of research and regulation have been raised.
Through our membership of National Voices, Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland and the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC), the sector is working to ensure that research, access to medicines and the treatment of patients are given the prominence and attention they deserve in Brexit discussions. We believe that this collaborative approach is currently the most effective and impactful way of raising shared concerns.
We have also been reaching out to pharmaceutical companies to understand their plans to continue delivering drugs in the event of both a deal and no-deal Brexit. We will keep you updated with what we know as we receive the information.
If you have any concerns
If you are worried about the supply of your medicines, please speak to your doctor for more information. You can also raise your concerns with your local MP.