Brexit is the topic that is on everyone’s lips at the moment. As the UK looks set to be hurtling towards a no-deal Brexit we thought it would be an ideal time to take a step back and look at the impact a no-deal Brexit may have the storage and stockpiling of medicines and vaccines.
Our concerns were raised when we came across this article published by the Pharmaceutical Journal – ‘Refrigeration for ‘no-deal Brexit medicine stockpiles’. The article looks at the impact of a no-deal Brexit on the UK’s insufficient cold-chain storage network.
Matt Hancock, the health and social care secretary has told MPs that in the event of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit the cost of securing cold-chain storage for stockpiling medicines would amount to tens of millions of pounds.
As it stands, the UK falls short of cold-chain warehouses used to ensure the supply of medicines. In the event of a no-deal Brexit, it’s estimated that it could take up to a year to build sufficient facilities.
In an article from 2017 by the Pharmaceutical Journal, Martin Sawer, executive director of the Healthcare Distribution Association, which represents businesses that supply medicines to the UK chain, revealed that...
“90% of UK medicines are imported, and of that number 45% come from the EU.”
This is quite a worrying statistic and demonstrates the scale of the problem the government are facing.
We understand that the UK government has funds set aside from their £1.5bn Brexit contingency and that they have put a contract out to tender to suppliers of cold-chain storage. However, the clock is ticking and with contingency planning only looking to stockpile medicines for 6 weeks, appropriate measures need to be taken.
We have heard on the grapevine that parts of the cold-chain have begun to stockpile medicine in preparation for a no-deal Brexit, against the advice of the government. This was later confirmed by Simon Dukes, Chief Executive of the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee in the following article.
The current guidance from the government is that drug companies should maintain a six-week medicine stockpile for six months. However, it has been brought to light that many pharmacies are over ordering in order to stockpile certain medicines which, in turn, is causing supply issues further down the cold-chain.
It is thought that the situation will not escalate as there is too much risk involved. Most items that pharmacies would want to stockpile, are very expensive, have few suppliers or have a reimbursement rate lower than cost price. There is also the added risk of pharmaceutical prices falling as a result of a resolution of the Brexit situation.
CRS Cold Storage
CRS Cold Storage is on hand to provide appropriate storage for pharmaceutical companies and pharmacies looking to expand their stock holding of medicines, in preparation for a no-deal Brexit. We understand that the government's recommendations may mean that increased storage capacities are required by a number of components in the medical cold-chain.
If you are looking for a cold storage supplier, with expertise in the pharmaceutical market then call CRS Pharma Solutions. Talk to one of our knowledgeable team and we will be able to recommend the best type of cold storage for your needs. We have made sure all our staff are aware of the current landscape in regard to a no-deal Brexit and they are primed to help you configure a solution to see you through this unpredictable time.