LORDS

Pharmaceutical industry discusses Brexit no deal preparations

31 October 2018

The EU Home Affairs Sub-Committee takes evidence from the Nuffield Trust, the British Association of European Pharmaceutical Distributors, and Maitland Walker LLP.

Background

The Government has released a number of technical notices on the impact of a no deal Brexit on access to medicines and how companies should prepare. The Sub-Committee will discuss what practical steps the pharmaceutical industry is taking to prepare for the possibility of no deal, for example by stockpiling of medicines, and how effective these preparations will be.

Witnesses

Wednesday 31 October 2018, Committee Room 3, Palace of Westminster

At 10.40am

  • Mark Dayan, Policy and Public Affairs Analyst, Nuffield Trust
  • Richard Freudenberg, Secretary General, British Association of European Pharmaceutical Distributors
  • Julian Maitland-Walker, Senior Partner, Maitland Walker LLP

Possible questions

  • Can you summarise who your members are, and what preparations they are making to prepare for a no deal Brexit? Has the Government given enough clarity and support to the pharmaceutical industry to ensure that it will be able to provide continued access to medicines in the event of no deal?
  • Can you give us an idea of the legal context of medicine supply? What will happen, in legal and regulatory terms, to the supply of medicines if the UK leaves the EU without a deal?
  • What is the size of the drugs market between the UK and the rest of the EU, and which drugs are at risk of being in short supply? How much would a disruption to medicine supplies cost the NHS?
  • Is the current advice from Government to stockpile six weeks of medicines sufficient?  How many weeks' supply would you advise pharmaceutical companies and the NHS to stockpile?
  • In your view, what is the likeliness of an increase in the price of medicines because of a no deal Brexit?
  • The Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, announced in a 23 October letter to suppliers that an industry working group had been established to test and refine the UK's contingency plans, and the mechanisms by which suppliers will interact with these processes.  Do you have any more information about this working group? Are you contributing to it?
  • What contingency remedies do you envisage in a no deal situation? How practicable would it be, for example, for customs checks on medicines to be waived?
  • Should patients start stockpiling their own drugs?

Further information

 Image:  iStockphoto

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