Here’s a short piece on the potential effects of Brexit on the supply of medicines I wrote for the University of Birmingham. I set these concerns against the underlying problems around drug shortages, and was considering a no deal Brexit. Any deal is likely to further mitigate the problems of any Brexit.
The effects of Brexit, and consequences of attempts to mitigate those effects, are difficult to predict. Any evaluation is complicated by the baseline rates of drug shortages caused by other factors. Media reports of medicine shortages and their causes in the aftermath of Brexit may be influenced by the polarisation seen in the wider Brexit debate. What is clear though, is that even if government attempts to avoid medicine shortages are entirely successful, and supply chains adapt rapidly to post-Brexit changes, the underlying structural causes of medicine shortages will affect the supply of medicines for years to come.
Photograph Banksy does Brexit by Dunk. Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)