Intended for healthcare professionals


Drug suppliers are told to replenish stockpiles for Brexit and further pandemic this winter

BMJ 2020; 370 doi: (Published 05 August 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;370:m3104
  1. Matthew Limb
  1. London

The UK government has urged medicine suppliers to stockpile six weeks’ worth of drugs as a “buffer” against disruption when the Brexit transition period ends on 31 December this year.

A letter from the Department of Health and Social Care, published on 3 August, acknowledged that global supply chains were under “significant pressure, exacerbated by recent events with covid-19.”1 It said that companies should make stockpiling a key part of contingency plans and should “plan for all scenarios,” including any reduced traffic flow at short strait crossings such as between Dover and Calais.

Mark Dayan, policy analyst and head of public affairs at the Nuffield Trust, said that the letter was a significant development by ministers. “This indicates that they are scaling up for disruption to medicine supplies in the same way …

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