How we’ve prepared for Brexit uncertainty

Whilst Brexit has brought uncertainty to the whole industry, we're confident we've done the best we can to prepare for any eventuality.

Published: Wednesday 16 October 2019



Whilst Brexit has brought extended uncertainty to the pharmaceutical industry and wider society, here at Pharmica, we are confident we have done everything to prepare for every eventuality. The proof is in our planning, preparation and determination to do all we can to continue to make the pharmacy experience easy for you.

How have we already been affected?

Some pharmaceutical items have already seen shortages, such as Finasteride, where the Accord brand has almost doubled in price. As a consequence, we have chosen to increase our stock of other Generic brands such as Milpharm to give our customers the option for a cheaper alternative and reduce the costs passed onto our consumers.

How have we been planning for the unknown?

Given the current political situation and the speculated impact on the pharmaceutical industry, we have decided that it is wise to ensure our supply of medicine. As suggested in August 2018 by the Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, we have increased our supply of medication to meet the necessary governmental advisory stock levels [1]. Our suppliers source medication from across the globe, Europe included. Therefore, we will be looking for suppliers to ensure we can maintain our services, however, we cannot guarantee stable supply. As a consequence, lead times for medicines may increase from 48 hours to 5 days [2]. Despite these operational challenges, we hope that the trading arrangements between the UK and other countries will become clearer and we will be able to maintain our supply over the coming months.

What has the government done to prepare?

Despite the anticipated disruptive implications, we are aware that the government [3] has been working to decrease the strain of supplier shortage by increasing border readiness and reducing potential operational inefficiencies relating to concurrent medicine supply routes. Furthermore, it has been recently confirmed [4] by senior NHS representatives that the UK is significantly more prepared for a no-deal outcome compared with earlier in the year. This is supported by the allocation of £434 million by the government [5] in August to ensure medicine supply and freight capacity is maximised in anticipation of disruption.

What might the pharmaceutical industry look like in the long term?

Aside from the obvious short term challenges, in the long term, Britain will have to become far more self-sufficient when producing drugs as currently we run a trade deficit with the EU, relying more on our high quality research and development, contributing circa 20% to the EU’s total Pharmaceutical research [6]. However, it is not clear how the change in regulatory requirements will influence ease of certification abroad. With this in mind, we acknowledge that is crucial to keep you informed and updated with how relevant major political changes will influence us.

How will we keep you updated?

We will be providing key updates to keep you informed of any changes that significantly affect us in line with the unfolding political changes. Keep an eye out for our social media and email updates for further information throughout the upcoming weeks, if you have any questions, please do let us know!

Sources

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