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Society statement on the prospect of a “no-deal” EU exit on 31 October 2019

Published: 17 Jun 2019 in Policy statements

As things stand, the UK will exit the EU without a withdrawal agreement on 31 October. This ‘no deal’ scenario will be a precarious one for patients. 

There is a real risk that border delays from customs checks could stop medicines getting to the patients who need them, when they need them. We are concerned that current plans for a protocol to deal with any such shortages are not sufficiently advanced: complex decisions about a patient’s medicines are at risk of being made without appropriate clinical input.

Further, the UK is set to immediately lose access to EudraVigilance, a system for reporting and analysing suspected adverse reactions to authorised medicines. The UK should seek formal assurances that its access will be retained for the benefit of patients across the UK and Europe.

We recognise and welcome efforts to mitigate these problems but have yet to be fully reassured by them. The Society’s view is that the current ‘no deal’ scenario would put patients at unnecessary risk and must be avoided. Patients must be given clear and unequivocal guarantees that their care and their safety will not be compromised.

This statement was originally published in January and April 2019 and has been updated to reflect the new timeline.