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Patients should consider stockpiling their own drugs if it looks likely the U.K. will leave the EU with no deal, the pharmaceuticals industry has said, telling MPs that such a scenario could be “catastrophic” for medicine supplies and necessitate emergency powers.
Giving evidence to the Commons health committee about the possible impact of a no-deal departure on the sector, representatives from groups representing drugs producers and distributors said there was an urgent need for a Brexit agreement.
Current government contingency plans for suppliers to stockpile several weeks of drugs were insufficient, said Mike Thompson, the head of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry, noting that there were no facilities at ports to store drugs at low temperatures in the event of delays.
“I think we also need to be honest with government and with parliament to say that there are more things that need to be done in a no deal and I think we’ve got to the stage of recognizing that stockpiling won’t be enough and we need to put in the next phase of plans,” he said.
Martin Sawer, who leads the Healthcare Distributors Association, which represents the pharmaceutical supply chain, said patients might need to think about ensuring they had enough of their own stocks.
“We need politicians to understand that there could be consequences of a no-deal [Brexit], and those are the consequences,” he said. “We’re not suggesting anyone needs to stockpile outside of the supply chain yet, but come January that might be a different picture.
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