Conclusion over confusion: healthcare preparing for Brexit

Conclusion over confusion healthcare preparing for Brexit

Brexit Health Alliance has been working with the government to inform guidance regarding the healthcare industry preparing for Brexit.

The government has published its first collection of technical notices on what could happen if Britain leaves the EU without an agreement, so preparing for Brexit is vital for the health and care industry.

What does this mean for us?

The Secretary of State has written to the health and care system, while guidance has also been issued for the pharmaceutical industry and suppliers of medical devices.

Regarding health and care, aspects of discussion included, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Regulation surrounding quality and safety of tissues, organs and cells
  • Regulation of medicines, medical devices and clinical trials
  • Submitting regulatory information on medical products
  • Papers on batch testing medicines
  • Labelling tobacco products and e-cigarettes
  • Ensuring blood and blood products are safe.

The Brexit Health Alliance has the aim of bringing together the NHS, medical research, industry, patients and public health bodies to safeguard the interests of patients and the healthcare and research they rely on.

“Hope for the best but prepare for the worst”

Niall Dickson, co-chair of the Brexit Health Alliance, comments on the publication of the government guidance on preparing for a no-deal Brexit scenario: “The government has recognised that we can hope for the best but must prepare for the worst.

“Today’s guidance is a welcome and important step towards providing the assurance that patients need.

“We welcome the moves towards national stockpiling of medicines which should make sure patients will not experience delays in treatment should there be no deal.”

As alliance’s members continue to work with the UK Government and the devolved
administrations to make sure these issues are addressed in future guidance; the NHS will now want to see more detailed operational advice.

Moreover, alliance aims to ensure patients will continue to receive the treatment they need whatever the outcome of the negotiations.

Dickson further explains: “There is more work to be done but identifying every medicine and where there may be vulnerabilities is a critical first step.

“This is a time for planning not panic.”

The ideal goal for patients

According to alliance, ensuring there no disruption in supply to or from the UK is vital.

However, Dickson concludes: “It may be acceptable to argue about delays to some consumer products at the border. It cannot be acceptable when patients’ lives are put at risk.

“We cannot afford to get this wrong.”

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