The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) has expressed fears that the UK will drop out of the “safest medicines system in the world” in the event of no-deal Brexit.
A Europe-wide initiative to protect patients and public health from falsified or fake medicines goes live on February 9, 2019, making the medicines supply chain across Europe safer than ever before.
However, in the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit, the UK will drop out from the new system, leaving NHS patients more exposed to the dangers of fake medicines than other patients in the EU.
The new technology means that from the moment a medicine comes off the production line to the point it reaches a patient, every person and organisation it has touched can verify and authenticate the pack: from pharmaceutical manufacturers to wholesalers to pharmacies to GP surgeries and hospitals.
Unfortunately, Brexit uncertainty means that organisations across the UK’s medicines supply chain don’t know whether the system will still be in place in 7-weeks’ time as a ‘no deal’ Brexit would mean a UK revocation of the FMD legislation.
The system – a world-first – will secure the supply chain of medicines, meaning that patients can be completely confident that the medicines they are taking are genuine and safe, whether that be antibiotics, statins or cancer medicines.
Dr Rick Greville, director of Supply Chain at the ABPI, said:
“Billions of packs of medicines travel around the EU annually, destined for over 500 million patients. This new system means that patients across Europe will have the best protection from fake medicines in the world.
“It would be an absolute travesty if NHS patients aren’t part of a system specifically designed to protect them. But that’s exactly what could happen in a ‘no deal’ Brexit. It is just another reason why we urgently need a Brexit deal.”