Should we worry about diabetes medicines shortages?

Commenting on news stories about the possibility of medical supplies being jeopardized by the looming decision about Britain leaving the EU, JDRF has affirmed that it is committed to ensuring that the needs of people with Type 1 diabetes are taken into account and prioritised in the event of a no-deal Brexit and is working closely with the Department of Health and Social Care on the situation for insulin supplies.

The UK government advises that patients, GPs, hospitals and pharmacies should not stockpile. Instead it has requested that drug manufacturers have a minimum of six weeks’ supply of stockpiled insulin, over and above their usual operational buffer stocks.

Insulin manufacturers, Novo Nordisk and Sanofi have stated they are increasing their stockpiles to 16 and 14 weeks respectively, while Lilly is holding several months’ supply. Now, Novo Nordisk has announced it will be increasing supplies to 18 weeks and joining other companies in testing different shipping routes in the event of delays at the UK’s main port, Dover. Sanofi is also looking to test two alternative routes into the country, one into the east coast from the Netherlands and another route into the south coast from France.

JDRF will continue to make the Department of Health and Social Care aware of our supporters’ concerns around insulin supplies and other type 1 consumables, in the event of a no deal and will provide further updates as soon as there are any.

Simon Dukes, chief executive of the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC), has also commented that there have been supply shortages for a number of reasons and that “concerns around a no-deal Brexit are likely to exacerbate those ongoing issues”.

Supply shortages and rising prices for some medicines are being reported by pharmacists and GPs with the possibility of a no-deal Brexit being blamed.

For more information see this reported from December 2018 by Hugh Pym, BBC health correspondent: Is NHS already finding it hard to get medicines:

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