The Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, has acknowledged the rising concerns around a no-deal Brexit related to pharmaceuticals. This is particularly important in relation to medicine supply between the EU and the UK, with Irish health bodies and patients becoming worried about access to treatments. Although Ireland will remain part of the EU, current supply chains actually position Ireland and the UK as a single market for many companies, with Ireland-bound medicines required to pass through Britain first.
Mr Varadkar has revealed that Ireland will actively stockpile medicines over the coming months to allay fears of a shortage, and fears that companies may simply neglect Ireland in their marketing plans rather than go through extra bureaucracy. The Irish Examiner reports Mr Varadkar has said:
“Even in the event of a hard deal/no Brexit, it is not that it would be impossible to import from the UK.
“It would still be possible, but there would be restrictions obviously, so part of our contingency planning does involve making sure that we have a supply of medicines.”
It’s hoped that fears of a no-deal Brexit will prove to be unfounded, but in the meantime stockpiling appears to be good practice.