Existing user? Login

European Union

Health secretary says government will stockpile drugs in case of no-deal Brexit

Matt Hancock has announced that his department is drawing up contingency plans to stockpile drugs, should a no-deal Brexit impede the public’s access to medication.

Matt Hancock, deputy health secretary


Matt Hancock, the secretary of state for health and social care, has said that his department is drawing up plans to stockpile drugs in contingency of a no-deal Brexit

The government has been asked to publish its contingency plans for a no-deal Brexit following an admission from health and social care secretary Matt Hancock that his department is drawing up plans to stockpile drugs.

Hancock told a meeting of the House of Commons health select committee on 24 July 2018 that he had asked civil servants to “accelerate” plans to deal with the consequences of the UK leaving the EU in 2019 with no agreement in place.

Hancock told the committee he had met with senior pharmaceutical industry figures to discuss it and that work was going on “right across government” to ensure that “peoples’ health will be safeguarded in the event of a no-deal Brexit”.

“This includes the chain of medical supplies, vaccines, medical devices, clinical consumables [and] blood products,” he said.

“And I’ve asked the department to work up options for stockpiling by industry and we are working with industry to prepare for the potential need for stockpiling in the event of a no-deal Brexit.”

When asked how many months’ worth of drugs would be stockpiled, Hancock said that level of detail had yet to be finalised. He also said there was a need to “get the balance right” between patients accessing the drugs they need and the “cost implication”.

Hancock said the government’s focus would be on ensuring a continuous supply of medicines that have a short shelf life, adding that some drugs could be flown in if there was gridlock at UK ports after a no-deal Brexit.

The pharmaceutical industry would be responsible for the stockpiling, with government input, he said.

Niall Dickson, co-chair of the Brexit Health Alliance, which includes the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, the NHS Confederation and the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry among its members, said the government must now reveal all contingency plans that are being drawn up.

“Ministers are right to plan for the worst while doing everything to make sure the worst does not happen, but now is the time to start spreading the word about the scale and nature of the challenge and to enable NHS trusts and others to prepare,” he said.

“We may be able to accept delays for some goods crossing borders, but that is simply not acceptable for medicines and other materials on which patients rely every day.” 

Citation: Electronicjuice DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2018.20205233

Have your say

For commenting, please login or register as a user and agree to our Community Guidelines. You will be re-directed back to this page where you will have the ability to comment.

Recommended from Pharmaceutical Press

  • Clinical Pharmacokinetics

    A practical guide to the use of pharmacokinetic principles in clinical practice. Includes case studies with questions and answers.

  • Drugs of Abuse

    A concise, easy-to-read guide for healthcare professionals who encounter drug abuse.

  • Pharmaceutical Toxicology

    Explains the methodology and requirements of pre-clinical safety assessments of new medicines. Includes registration requirements and pharmacovigilance.

  • Sport and Exercise Medicine for Pharmacists

    All the information you need to provide patients with evidence-based advice on sports and exercise related health matters.

  • Prescribing Adult Intravenous Nutrition

    A practical guide to the principles and practice of adult intravenous nutrition. With numerous illustrations and case studies.


Search an extensive range of the world’s most trusted resources

Powered by MedicinesComplete
  • Print
  • Share
  • Comment
  • Save

Supplementary images

  • Matt Hancock, health and social care secretary

Jobs you might like

Newsletter Sign-up

Want to keep up with the latest news, comment and CPD articles in pharmacy and science? Subscribe to our free alerts.

сиалис тадалафил

levitra online bestellen