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EU unprepared for no-deal Brexit, health experts warn

Published on 12/08/19 at 11:28am

European health experts have warned that a no-deal Brexit could worsen medicines shortages in the European Union.

Speaking to Reuters, Andy Powrie-Smith, an official at the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations, said: “Despite intensive preparation by industry for every scenario, a no-deal Brexit risks disruption to the supply of medicines” throughout the EU.

The comments come as Prime Minister Boris Johnson doubled down on the deadline of 31 October, as he suggested that Britain would leave whether it was with a deal or not.

However health experts have warned that some drugs may not have the required regulatory approval to allow them to be brought in from Britain by the deadline on 31 October.

Equally, more thorough customs controls could disrupt supplies of drugs and active pharmaceutical ingredients coming from Britain to the EU.

Eric Van Neuten, the chief executive officer of Febelco, Belguim’s largest medicines wholesaler, said: “there will be some problems and delays in the supply chain due to border protocols, but I think we will be able to manage.”

Meanwhile the EMA said they are now well prepared for Britain’s departure from the EU as it suggested it had finalised authorisations for nearly all of the 400 drugs under its watch.

Currently, around 45 million packs of medicines are shipped from Britain to the rest of the EU each month, while 37 million packs of medicine come the other way.

Louis Goss

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