NAO has reported there is still a lot of work left to do to prevent medicine shortages, despite the UK governments preparedness programme.

There are still significant gaps in No-Deal Brexit report, according to the National Audit Office
NAO has reported there is still a lot of work left to do to prevent medicine shortages, despite the UK governments preparedness programme.

One of the concerns put forward by the NAO is that the government has an incomplete picture of the stockpiling of six weeks’ worth of medicine and other medicinal products that are needed such as gloves and syringes. As of the 20th September, 72% of medicinal products had that amount available.

However, supplies of other goods other than medicines for social care providers ‘have not been similarly stockpiled’ creating issues for the home sector as it relies on non-medicine supplies that are not usually bought via the NHS.

There is still work being completed to arrange for additional freight capacity but there are worries it will not be ready for the 31st October in particular the extra ferry capacity that the government has contracted to bring in medicines into ports other than Dover. This is extremely important because of the 12,300 medicines used in the UK, 7,000 come from or via the EU according to the Department of Health and Social Care.

The APBI have welcomed that the government has placed top priority for the additional freight capacity, but they are adamant that stockpiling alone is not enough and that they need to be able to be replenished.

The government has assumed a worst-case scenario that the flow of goods over the Channel will be reduced by 40-60% and hopes that it will have as much of the freight capacity for priority goods as possible in place by 31st October and all of it by the 30th November at the latest. The government also has provisions in place to deploy a courier service that will fly in emergency supplies if needed.

The Department of Transportation has also been asked to procure an extra 2,326 additional heavy goods vehicle spaces per week as part of the government-secured freight capacity, with 91% of the additional spaces allocated to health and social care supplies.


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