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World U.K., EU Bodies Warn of Drug Delays Ahead of Final Brexit Talks

13:20  28 september  2020
13:20  28 september  2020 Source:   bloomberg.com

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Bags of completed medical prescriptions sit on the counter and await collection by customers from Hodgson Pharmacy in Longfield, Kent, U.K., on Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019. Novo Nordisk A/S, the world’s biggest maker of insulin has reserved space on airplanes and is planning to boost stockpiles further to ensure diabetes patients in the U.K. don’t run out of the life-saving medicine in the event of no-deal Brexit. © Bloomberg Bags of completed medical prescriptions sit on the counter and await collection by customers from Hodgson Pharmacy in Longfield, Kent, U.K., on Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019. Novo Nordisk A/S, the world’s biggest maker of insulin has reserved space on airplanes and is planning to boost stockpiles further to ensure diabetes patients in the U.K. don’t run out of the life-saving medicine in the event of no-deal Brexit.

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The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry and the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations asked the British government and European Commission to urgently negotiate a mutual recognition agreement to avoid delays of as much as six weeks for medicines.

They’re also seeking a one-year phase-in period for the protocol governing Northern Ireland. Without the delay, medicine supplies to the region could be put on hold, according to the groups.

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EU - UK post- Brexit trade talks . Image copyright PA Media. The last set of talks between the two sides ended acrimoniously when the UK government introduced the Internal Market Bill which would allow the UK to override parts of the original Brexit divorce deal - known as the withdrawal agreement.

The European Regions Airlines Association has written to the European Commission demanding urgent action. A body representing 50 airlines has written to the European Commission warning that it must take urgent action to prevent the grounding of flights after the U . K . leaves the European Union .

The pharmaceutical industry has long been calling for clarity on the future relationship and an agreement to accept each other’s tests and inspections of medical products to avoid delays and duplications. Mutual recognition has taken on even greater importance in light of the Covid-19 pandemic as countries look to avoid unnecessary curbs to the supply of vaccines and therapeutics for the disease.

Negotiators have 15 weeks until the end of the Brexit transition period, after which the U.K. and EU will revert to quotas and tariffs for products if no deal is reached. Northern Ireland will be governed by EU rules that will be enforced by U.K. regulators, but a lack of clarity on how this will work could mean medicines are unable to be dispensed legally in the region from next year, according to the groups.

The U.K. exports about 45 million packs of medicines to the EU and imports 37 million from the bloc every month.

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Theresa May Fast Facts .
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