Concerns mount over Brexit, and what it would mean for the UK to leave the European Union without a deal in place. (Related news: How a No-Deal Brexit Could Affect Pharma Packaging.)
Bloomberg reported that Novo Nordisk A/S has booked air-freight slots for insulin “to prepare for the possibility of significant border delays.” While the company typically has seven weeks’ worth of the drug stored, they plan to increase insulin stock to as much as 18 weeks’ worth to supply patients in the UK with diabetes. Sanofi is also increasing its supplies.
The port of Dover, England, may face extreme pressure and supply pileup, and pharmaceutical companies are requesting other ports be opened to allow for medical supplies to reach patients. The article notes that Sanofi is testing other routes to the east and south coasts of the country.
While the pharmaceutical supply chain into the UK is facing potential restraints as a whole, those who ship medicines with stringent handling requirements—including temperature-controlled medicines and radioactive drugs—have even greater concerns.
The EFPIA, the EU biopharmaceutical industry group, is requesting actions be taken to protect patients, including:
Fast-track lanes for medicines into ports and airports
The continued UK participation in data sharing platforms that protect public health and medicines safety in Europe
Exempting medicines and clinical trial materials from new customs and border checks, and making contingencies for APIs
Enabling paperwork and regulatory checks to be completed away from the physical borders