BIA responds to UK Government letter to pharmaceutical industry on stockpiling medicines

The Department of Health has today written to pharmaceutical companies on the EU Exit – Human medicines supply in a March 2019 ‘no deal’ scenario. The letter details government contingency plans to stockpile medicines to cope with any potential delays at the border that may arise in the short term.


Commenting on the letter from Government on the  medicine supply contingency plan programme, BIA CEO, Steve Bates, said:

“We encourage BIA members and other pharmaceutical companies that supply medicines for NHS patients from, or via, the European Union or EEA, to engage actively with the Department of Health request for information as to how, or whether, they can, or cannot, ensure an additional minimum of six weeks supply in the UK, over and above their business as usual operational buffer stocks, by 29th March 2019.  Companies should receive an email from the Department within 24 hours with an ask to engage next week, and respond formally by 10th September. We have stressed and recognise that endeavouring to deliver on this in less than 200 days will be a massive challenge for industry and the MHRA alike. Given that over 150 BIA members are actively involved in clinical development in the UK we will pay particular attention to the implications of this work with regard to ongoing clinical trials.


“A ‘no deal’ Brexit would mean the biggest dis-integration of the complex regulated medicines market in Europe in terms of regulation, cross border movement of goods, comparative pricing and intellectual property. On behalf of patients we encourage all participants to be as prepared as possible for a scenario industry really does not want, but we should be under no illusions that this will be easy or smooth.”


Contact: Ed Sexton, BIA  Senior Communications Manager, 02076302196


About the BIA                    

Established over 25 years ago at the infancy of biotechnology, the BioIndustry Association (BIA) is the trade association for innovative enterprises involved in UK bioscience. Members include emerging and more established bioscience companies; pharmaceutical companies; academic, research and philanthropic organisations; and service providers to the bioscience sector. The BIA represents the interests of its members to a broad section of stakeholders, from government and regulators to patient groups and the media. Our goal is to secure the UK's position as a global hub and as the best location for innovative research and commercialisation, enabling our world-leading research base to deliver healthcare solutions that can truly make a difference to people's lives.   

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