Supply of medicines must be addressed in Brexit guidance

Niall Dickson, co-chair of the Brexit health Alliance, offers his comments ahead of Thursday’s expected ‘no deal scenario’ Brexit guidance for the health and social care sector

The NHS, the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries and the entire medical research community remain deeply concerned about the risks to patients, should there be no deal. It ought to be possible to manage those risks but we do need effective planning and comprehensive guidance, and we need this now.

We have been working with the government for some time on this and look forward to new guidance which we expect to be published later this week.

Above all it is vital that the government provides assurance to patients that they will be protected whatever happens. The guidance must also support NHS organisations as they plan to mitigate any hazards from an abrupt dislocation from the EU.

Everyone delivering frontline services urgently needs clarity about their responsibilities, and what support and coordination they can expect from the UK government.

The Brexit Health Alliance, representing bodies from across the healthcare sector, will continue to work with the UK Government to make sure that the supply of medicines and equipment, medical research, public health and other issues are properly addressed in this and future guidance.

It will also be important that arm’s length bodies in England as well as the devolved administrations throughout the UK are involved with and able to shape national and operational guidance and support.

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