European nations weigh impact of Brexit on drug supplies, Reuters reports.
More than 2,600 drugs have some stage of manufacture in Britain and 45 million patient packs are supplied from the UK to other European countries each month, while another 37 million flow in the opposite direction, industry figures show.
The EU’s drugs regulator, the European Medicines Agency (EMA), said last August that it and national regulators had set up a task force to minimize supply disruptions arising over the next two years, adding that Brexit would likely affect the availability of medicines in the EU.
The Europe-wide drugs watchdog EMA is moving from London to Amsterdam, prompting many drugmakers to prepare duplicate product testing and licensing arrangements.
Germany’s drug safety regulator has concluded that Brexit will not put its patients at risk of losing access to essential drugs, while Ireland has drawn up a list of 24 medicines whose supply would be most vulnerable if Britain fails to conclude a divorce deal.
Between 60 and 70 percent of the 4,000 medicines on the Irish market either come from or transit through the United Kingdom.
The country would have a supply of several weeks’ worth of most medicines if Britain crashed out on March 29 without a deal, he added.
The medicines that may be vulnerable due to special storage and transportation needs, short shelf life or single supplier reliance included intravenous foods and some radiotherapy products.
The British government has asked UK drugmakers to build an additional six weeks’ worth of medicine stockpiles to prepare for any no-deal Brexit - a target the industry has said will be challenging.