Wednesday, 31 October 2018 06:40


Theresa May has failed to guarantee the supply of medicine to the NHS in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
SNP Westminster Leader raised the issue after it was revealed the government last week quietly began a tender process to try and stockpile medicines at a cost of tens of millions of pounds. 
It follows comments from the UK government’s most senior health official who says he cannot be “confident” that essential medicines will still be available after a no-deal Brexit – describing the task as “extremely difficult”.
Commenting, Ian Blackford MP said: 
“The Prime Minister cannot guarantee the supply of medicines in the event of a No deal. This is chaos of the Tory government’s own making.
“Last week, the UK government quietly begin a dramatically truncated tender process to try and stockpile medicines, at a cost of tens of millions of pounds. 
“Funds that should be spent on frontline health services. And funds that this week’s Budget was totally silent on.
“Throughout this process the Prime Minister has only been concerned about how Brexit might harm the Conservative party – it’s time that the Prime Minister woke up to the real harm her Brexit policies could cause to patients up and down the country.
“This Government is in a blind panic trying to cover for a blind Brexit.”  
Brexit: Ministers launch 'tens of millions' bid to stockpile medicine
Senior official cannot be confident essential medicines would still be available:
Indy report says (18 October) -
“England’s most senior health official says he cannot be “confident” that essential medicines will still be available after a no-deal Brexit – describing the task as “extremely difficult”.
Maintaining supplies would be “very complex” if the UK crashes out of the EU, Sir Chris Wormald told MPs, adding: “I never use words like confident.”
Sir Chris, the department of health's permanent secretary, warned there were also major concerns about staff shortages and the treatment of British travellers to the EU after Brexit….
…At the meeting of the Commons Brexit committee, Sir Chris was asked whether he was “confident that the supply of essential medicines will be maintained in the event of no deal”.

After declining to say he was, Sir Chris said his department was “pleased” with the response of pharmaceutical firms, but added: “It’s a very complex market and a very complex supply chain
“As no-one can really predict exactly what will happen, there will be decisions we will have to make along the way.”
Sir Chris added that it would be “extremely difficult” to guarantee that all supplies would be fully maintained.
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