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No-deal Brexit preparations are a waste of time and money, according to Welsh industry representatives

Published on 12/11/18 at 10:44am

The UK government’s request that pharmaceutical companies stockpile an additional six weeks’ worth of medicine, in preparation for a no-deal Brexit, is a waste of time and money, representatives for the Welsh pharmaceutical industry have said.

While ‘robust plans have’ been put into place, the millions spent on stockpiling medicines in preparation for the unlikely scenario of a no-deal Brexit could be better spent on developing new medicines.

Commenting on the current deadlock over the Irish border Dr Richard Greville, the Welsh branch director of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) said: “The deadlock is a challenge for the industry. Because of the global nature of the industry, the supply, the frictionless movement of goods is absolutely critical because some medicines are manufactured in the UK, some medicines are manufactured in the EU and some medicines are manufactured in the rest of the world. But, basically, if you are a patient in Wales who needs access to that medicine no matter where it's been manufactured you want the access to that medicine to be unrestricted.”

Dr Greville noted that some businesses have spent up to £100 million in preparation for a no-deal exit from the European Union.

“It would be a great pity if it was entirely wasted but perhaps, more importantly, the waste would perhaps have been best spent in developing and creating new medicines, which would have been of far greater use to patients across the world,” Dr Greville said to the BBC.

Ipsen site manager Nick Davies commented: “Brexit is a distraction for the organisation and for the UK pharmaceutical industry and setting-up parallel laboratories in Ireland to repeat testing that we're doing in the UK already can definitely be seen as wasted resource.”

Louis Goss

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