The UK government has set aside £3 million for plans to provide medicine transport in case supplies are disrupted by a no-deal Brexit on 31 October this year.
Under the plans, the government wants to establish an express freight service for blood, transplant tissue and medicine at the time of the next Brexit deadline. However, the timeframe to finalise the plans is what some experts have described as “tight”.
David Lidington, cabinet office minister, told parliament that this would be “an urgent contingency measure for products requiring urgent delivery within a 24-48 hour timeframe, if the UK leaves the EU without a deal”.
However, he stressed that the government would only pay for this service should it be required.
At the end of June, the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) responded to the government’s most recent guidance about planning for a no-deal Brexit.
Mike Thompson, chief executive of the ABPI, said that it was essential for the government to have additional freight capacity available in October, just as it had done in March.
“Our members will be pleased that the government are taking steps to put this capacity in place again and await further information about how this will work in practice,” he asserted.
However, he warned that it’s “extremely challenging” for pharmaceutical firms to be constantly preparing for a no-deal Brexit, and added that leaving with a deal in place is still the best outcome to prevent disruption to medical supplies.
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