Healthcare Distribution Association Welcomes Health Select Committee Report On Brexit

The report on ‘Brexit: medicines, medical devices and substances of human origin’ mirrors the stance of the Healthcare Distribution Association following Executive Director Martin Sawer’s evidence


London, 21 March 2017 – The House of Commons’ Health and Social Care Committee has today published its report following an inquiry into ‘Brexit: medicines, medical devices and substances of human origin’. The report urges UK and EU negotiators to prioritise patient safety in the next round of Brexit negotiations. The Healthcare Distribution Association submitted written, and gave oral evidence, on the priority issues for its members, all of which have been taken up by the influential group of MPs. The final report sees the Committee call on negotiators on both sides to take note of industry and patient groups and secure the closest possible regulatory alignment in the next round of Brexit talks.

In line with calls from the Healthcare Distribution Association, the key recommendations of the Committee include:

  • The transposition of Good Distribution Practice into UK law
  • Continued UK participation in Europe-wide clinical trials and the adoption of the new EU Clinical Trials Regulations and Medical Devices Regulations
  • UK membership of all the chief EU pharmacovigilance systems and databases
  • ‘Free and frictionless trade’ with the European Union
  • An impact assessment on the loss of parallel imports

In the report, Chair of the Committee, Dr Sarah Wollaston MP reinforced that “in order to minimise harm to their citizens, both the UK and the EU27 should look to secure the closest possible regulatory alignment in the next round of the Brexit negotiations. Failure to do so would signal a triumph of ideology over the best interests of patients.”

During his evidence, Martin Sawer, Executive Director of the Healthcare Distribution Association reiterated the need to recognize the significance of the medicines supply chain in any parallel agreements made between the two sides. In the Select Committee’s report he is quoted as saying that:

“Quite rightly, we take the supply chain for granted. A doctor writes a prescription; the patient might go into a pharmacy in the morning and the pharmacy says, “Come back in the afternoon and the medicine will be there.” We are invisible, and we should be, but I think it is important to recognise that that supply chain is there and operating all the time. A jolt to it like this could throw a lot of cogs out of a very complicated machine.”

The Healthcare Distribution Association looks forward to continuing to work with the UK Government, Department of Health and MHRA to ensure that the impact on patient access to medicines and patient safety is as limited as possible when the UK leaves the EU in March 2019.

The full report from the Committee is available to read here.



About the Healthcare Distribution Association

The Healthcare Distribution Association (HDA UK) represents those businesses  who  supply  medicines, medical   devices   and   healthcare   services   for   patients,   pharmacies,   hospitals,   doctors   and   the pharmaceutical industry. HDA UK members operate across the 4 nations of the United Kingdom enabling a safe, efficient and high-quality supply chain for the healthcare sector.  They are responsible for distributing over 92% of NHS medicines and provide wholesaling services including working capital, stock management and IT systems to their supply chain partners. Formerly known as the British Association of Pharmaceutical Wholesalers (BAPW), the Association rebranded in February 2016 to better reflect the evolving healthcare supply chain, as innovative practices and technologies make new services possible for manufacturers and to those who dispense medicines, reflecting the needs and choices of individual patients.

Healthcare Distribution Association Welcomes Health Select Committee Report On Brexit

From Factory to Pharmacy

As part of our mission to build awareness, understanding and appreciation of the vital importance of the healthcare distribution sector, we developed an infographic explaining the availability of medicines. It identifies the factors that can impact drug supply, as well as the measures that HDA members undertake day in, day out to help mitigate the risks of patients not receiving their medicines.

See the Infographic

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