Pharmaceutical Chief: We Must Avoid No-Deal Brexit At All Costs

7 January 2019, 08:05 | Updated: 7 January 2019, 08:18

The Chief Executive of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry has told LBC a no-deal Brexit "should be avoided at all costs."

Mike Thompson's revealed the Government has plans to airlift medicines into the UK, if there's major disruption as a result of extra border checks.

He says the building of stocks for a no-deal scenario is the "biggest logistical challenge" the industry has ever faced.

And speaking to Nick Ferrari on LBC, he urged MPs to prevent leaving the EU without an agreement.

Mike Thompson, the Chief Executive of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry
Mike Thompson, the Chief Executive of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry. Picture: LBC

When asked if stories of medicine stockpiling are true, Mr Thompson said: "Yes it is. Absolutely. Every member is doing that.

"That's why patients can be reassured that we are doing everything in our power to ensure we can get our medicines to them even though this is the biggest logistical challenge we are facing.

"Our message is, when parliamentarians come to think about the options in front of them, no-deal is something which they should avoid at all costs because of the challenges it will give everybody.

"I don't want to get involved into the politics of all of this. I'm just saying that no-deal creates significant challenges for us.

"We are as prepared as we can be, but undoubtedly things will go wrong.

"There are over 12,000 medicines which are licensed to be used in the UK. It is a massive challenge for us. On average, there is normally about 50 medicines which have some shortage problem, so we're used to dealing with shortages.

"But clearly when we're talking about the challenges were facing here, there will be unexpected issues we have to deal with. It's better that we avoid those and that's our message."

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