Brexit’s uncertainties have plagued all industries alike, pharmaceuticals is no exception either. As UK heads for a possible no deal Brexit this year, Germany’s drug regulator has assured its patients that Brexit will not expose them to a loss of access to essential drugs. Ireland is drawing up a list of 24 most vulnerable medicines whose supply would be threatened if Britain exits without a deal.
The Irish drug market is heavily dependent on UK for transit of the drugs as around 60-70% of its drugs transit through or come from the UK. Prime Minister Leo Varadkar has said that he has been undertaking regular discussions with the health officials for the past 2 years to examine the possibility of any severe disruption in supply. Mr. Varadkar told the parliament that any stockpiling of the key drugs will eventually lead to a break in supply as a result they have decided against stockpiling. They are working with wholesalers and the pharmaceutical industry to ensure supply of the 24 key watch listed drugs they are most concerned about.
Germany’s BfArm Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices tasked the country’s main pharmaceutical industry associations to find out the effect of a no-deal Brexit on the supply of drugs. The regulator on its official website posted its analysis that no significant shortage of medicines is expected which are thought to have critical importance. 2600+ drugs used in the country at some stage or the other are manufactured in Britain. 45 million patient packs flow out of UK while 37 million in the opposite direction, according to the figures provided by the industrial bodies.
UK’s drug industry have been given a target by the government to stockpile six weeks of additional medicines to prepare for a no-deal Brexit. The industry said that the target will be a challenge. EU’s central drug authority European Medicines Agency is extra vigilant and has set up a task force to lessen the disruption in supply of drugs over the next 2 years. EMA said that Brexit would likely effect the supply of some drugs. EMA which is currently located in London is shifting to Amsterdam post-Brexit which has prompted many drugmakers to prepare for duplicate licensing and drug testing arrangements.
UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s epic loss in passing the Brexit deal in parliament has left her scrambling for a means to get her deal approved in the coming months. While Britain lingers on deal or no-deal Brexit, European Commission has prepared to publish no-deal Brexit contingency plan. The plan includes 14 urgent and essential policies that EU member states must adopt.