In the wake of Brexit and the event of a no-deal exit from the European Union, French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi has said it could potentially airlift its flu vaccine into the UK.
In the event of travel routes such as the Channel Tunnel and ferries becoming disrupted, Hugo Fry, Sanofi’s UK managing director told the BBC Radio 5 Live’s Wake up to Money: “We prepare in different ways and have prepared many different routes into the UK, if we have to in the end, we will airlift it in.”
He added: “We are eating the cost of that but patients and citizens are our primary concern, so we’re quite happy to take that cost and make that planning.”
The worry for supply comes as the flu vaccine cannot be stockpiled in the way that some other medicines can, and as the second biggest of three suppliers of flu vaccines in the UK behind Seqirus, Sanofi must put precautions in place to ensure the UK is not short of the vaccine.
The company has warned that whilst it has plans to keep stockpiles of insulin and vaccines in place for 12 months, this is not possible with the flu vaccine.
Mr Fry explained: "You can't stockpile it because it's made at a particular time of the year and it's only available to import in the month at the end of August/beginning of September. We're doing everything possible to make sure that everyone will get their medicines and vaccines so that they can be reassured and they don't have to worry about it.”
The flu vaccine is just one in a long line of treatments that could be disrupted post-Brexit. The news comes shortly after it was revealed that delays to cancer testing and treatment will be “inevitable” as a result of a no-deal Brexit.
Click here to read more on Hugo's thoughts on Brexit