Cabinet Office Questions 19/10/20

Last week I asked the Minister for the Cabinet Office how the UK Government will ensure there are no drug shortages as the Brexit transition period comes to an end.

I have raised this issue countless times over the past 3 years and have yet to receive an any detailed reassurance as to how timely supplies will be secured.

Michael Gove claims the UK Government will ensure the smooth flow of Insulin and Radioisotopes if there should be delays after the transition period yet Gove himself has warned of thousands of lorries queuing in Kent, as is evident in the building of new lorry parks and portals.

Dr Philippa Whitford (Central Ayrshire) (SNP)

“The UK imports 37 million packets of medicines from the EU every single month. The pharmaceutical industry has highlighted the difficulty in rebuilding full stockpiles for the end of transition due to the impact of covid, so, with just 74 days to go, how will the right hon. Gentleman ensure that there are no drug shortages, particularly of insulin, which the UK does not produce, and radioisotopes, which cannot be stockpiled?”

Michael Gove

“The hon. Lady brings formidable expertise to this area, and she is absolutely right to highlight the fact that we need rapid access to both insulin and radioisotopes. That is why the Department of Health and Social Care and the Department for Transport have put in place contingency arrangements should there be any risk of disruption, but we are also confident that the steps we have taken more broadly will ensure that we have freight flowing freely between the UK and the EU, including in this critical area.”