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NHS: Drugs

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN HL16926, tabled on 3 July 2019

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that adequate warehouse space is available in order to stockpile medicines, if required, in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

Answered on

17 July 2019

The Government maintains that leaving the European Union with a deal is the best EU Exit outcome and has strongly expressed its opposition to leaving without a deal, in line with the position consistently expressed by Parliament. However, leaving without a deal on 31 October 2019 remains the legal default at the end of the Article 50 extension period if no withdrawal agreement is agreed. Therefore, as a responsible Government, we will continue to prepare to minimise any disruption to the supply of medicines and medical products in a ‘no deal’ scenario.

The Department continues to work closely with the devolved administrations, relevant EU member states, industry trade bodies and suppliers, the National Health Service and our other main stakeholders to ensure that we are prepared for leaving the EU without a deal in October.

On 26 June, we wrote to suppliers of medicines to the United Kingdom from or via the EU or European Economic Area setting out our continuing multi-layered approach to ensure the continuity of supply of all medicines and medical products in a potential no-deal exit scenario on 31 October.

To ensure sufficient space to store stockpiled medicines, we agreed contracts for additional warehouse space, including ambient, refrigerated and controlled drug storage aligned to the possible 29 March EU exit date. This secured warehouse space remains available up to and beyond 31 October and should be sufficient to meet the additional needs of medicines suppliers for storage space.