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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-21848: Alex Cole-Hamilton (Edinburgh Western)

Scottish Liberal Democrats

Date lodged: 27 February 2019

To ask the Scottish Government what arrangements it has made with the UK Government to ensure the distribution of recombinant clotting factor therapies for the treatment of inherited bleeding disorders if there is a no deal Brexit.

Answered by: Jeane Freeman 11 March 2019

The UK Government has overall responsibility for EU exit contingency planning and for entry and any customs control at the UK Border.

Since August 2018, the UK Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has been leading on UK-wide contingency plans to secure supplies of medicines in the event of a ‘no-deal’ exit from the EU. DHSC have been asking pharmaceutical companies to increase their stockpiles of medicines, including recombinant clotting factor therapies, which it is considered may be impacted by delays at the UK Border, with the aim of ensuring that the UK has an additional six weeks supply on top of normal stocks. The Scottish Government has been liaising with the UK Government regularly on this.

Alongside the stockpiling arrangements, DHSC is looking at alternative transportation arrangements which can be used where necessary to bring medicines into the UK, such as additional ferry capacity and also the potential to airfreight medicines that need to be refrigerated during transportation.

In addition, we have checked with the five Scottish haemophilia centres and none have indicated any concerns about supplies of drugs for their patients; they are content that the minimum three months' supply should be sufficient.