I certainly appreciate concerns about the future supply of medicines and I can assure constituents that the implications of leaving the EU on the pharmaceutical supply are being considered as a high priority.
I believe that it is important to minimise the risk of disruption and that is why the Department for Health has written to a number of pharmaceutical companies asking that they have six weeks’ supply of medicines in place by March in addition to their usual operational reserves. For medicines that have a short shelf life and are imported from the EU, suppliers have been asked to prepare plans for air transportation. Supply chains for air-freighted medicines are expected to operate as they do currently.
My ministerial colleagues are also working with the devolved administrations to ensure a coherent approach to achieving a seamless supply of medicines in all areas of the country even in the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal.
The Government has also been clear that it wants those EU nationals currently working in the NHS to stay in this country after we leave the EU. After the UK leaves the EU, we will set our own immigration policy but the Department of Health will ensure that there is sufficient staff to continue delivering high quality services.
Future healthcare arrangements will be a matter for the future partnership negotiations but the Government has been clear that there should be continued participation in the EHIC scheme after the UK leaves the EU.