Health Questions: 1st September 2020
One of the challenges presented by Brexit is the potential for disruption of important supply lines. This is critical when the items being disrupted are vital medicines. Today at Westminster, I asked Matt Hancock about the fact that in just 4 months time, new customs bureaucracy will lead to increased drug costs for the NHS, including insulin, which the UK does not produce.
Pharmaceutical and medical supply firms report they are struggling to rebuild last year’s stockpiles, because of global shortages due to Covid. I asked him how he plans to ensure patients won’t face any drug shortages next year, but would have welcomed a more reassuring reply than the one I received, which was essentially that it would all be fine.
Recent experience tells us there is a clear need to properly plan supply and logistics issues, and this must be taken into account in terms of medicines as well as other goods.