Difficult to Swallow? ABPI Requests Temporary Ban on Drug Exports Amid Fears of a ‘No-Deal’ Brexit

March 29, 2019

ABPI has asked for a temporary ban to be put in place on drug exports by wholesalers to protect the National Health Service (NHS) from potential shortages in a ‘no-deal’ Brexit scenario.

The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) has asked for a temporary ban to be put in place on drug exports by wholesalers to protect the National Health Service (NHS) from potential shortages in a ‘no-deal’ Brexit scenario, according to a March 29, 2019 BBC report.

Anticipating a drop in the value of the British pound, ABPI informed BBC that a resultant influx in wholesalers seeking to sell medicines overseas rather than to NHS could happen. Although there has been contingency planning put in place to try to ensure continuity of supply of medicines, ABPI stressed that more needs to be done and has requested the government place a temporary export ban on some medicines considered to be vital.

A Department of Health and Social care spokesperson told BBC, “We are aware of concerns raised about this issue and continue to work closely with NHS, industry, and the supply chain to ensure patients continue to access medicines in the same way they do now-whatever the E[uropean] U[nion] (EU) exit outcome.”

This call comes as the United Kingdom’s parliament is set to vote for a third time on UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal, albeit only a section of it this time around. On March 29, 2019, the original ‘Brexit deadline day’, the House of Commons will be asked to vote on the Withdrawal Agreement section of May’s Brexit deal-the legally binding portion of the deal specifying how the UK will leave the EU.

If this ‘first section’ of the Brexit deal is approved by parliament, then Brexit will be granted a delay until May 22, 2019, which will afford Theresa May some more time to push through a second section of the deal, the Political Declaration. However, according to many reports, it is highly likely that the Withdrawal Agreement will not be approved by parliament, which is anticipated to either lead to a ‘no-deal’ scenario or a considerable delay on Brexit.

Additionally, ministers of parliament are expected to debate some petitions on April 1, 2019, one of which has requested that Article 50 be revoked and Brexit be halted that has garnered nearly six million signatures so far.

Source: BBC