Brexit, a threat to the UK’s healthcare

Brexit, a threat to the UK’s healthcare

Ways in which Brexit will impact the UK’s pharmacy:

  • Drug Shortages: The UK has mandated a six-week supply of medicines and medical supplies by the current Brexit date of October 31. Even if that deadline is met, there are always some medicines where shelf life expiration(s) will make this more problematic in the long run. There have already been reports of shortages of some drugs. A poll of more than 400 pharmacists reveals 84% are struggling to obtain any HRT stocks while others are running out of contraceptives, anti-depressants, and blood pressure, diabetes and epilepsy medications.
  • Pharmaceutical R&D Will Struggle: According to The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), medicines launched in the UK between 2012 and 2017 constituted 13.9% of the world’s total. By 2015 there were 573 bio pharmacy enterprises in the UK, employing 63,000 people.  And this is where any disruption or volatility caused by Brexit can cause not just temporary issues, but also issues with projects that involve multi-year planning.
  • An Exodus of clinicians and medical professionals: Britain relies more heavily on foreign doctors than any other major EU nation.  More than a third of NHS doctors (35%) were born abroad, according to a report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).  Round-the-clock nursing care also would be affected by 21.7% of nurses in British healthcare having been born abroad.
  • The UK no longer hosts the European Medicines Authority (EMA): As a reminder, in March 2019, the EMA permanently relocated to the Netherlands from the UK and this has already had an economic impact on the country.  A simple fact is more than 1,000 people, with high-paying jobs having moved from Britain and the center of regulatory gravity for healthcare in Europe has shifted, which will affect other aspects of the UK pharmaceutical industry.