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NHS: Drugs

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 291521, tabled on 27 September 2019

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the National Audit Office's report, Exiting the EU: supplying the health and social care sectors, published on 27 September 2019, (a) for how long and (b) at what cost his Department is procuring a dedicated courier service for urgent medicines and supplies secured from manufacturers in the EU.

Answered on

7 October 2019

The Department is doing everything appropriate to prepare for leaving the European Union. We want to reassure patients that our plans should ensure the uninterrupted supply of medicines and medical products once we have left the EU.

The Express Freight Service is intended to provide access to an end-to-end solution able to deliver small consignments on a 24-hour basis with additional provision to move larger pallet quantities on a two-to-four-day basis. The initial contract length will be for one year, extendable by a further one year, with sufficient flexibility to end the contract earlier if required. The total estimated value of services provided to the Department over the one year period of the contract is £4 million. Users of the freight solution would be required to pay for any capacity they use.