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Medicines supply chain fragility highlighted in Scottish Parliament

Stock increases will be "challenging"

August 21st 2020

Tagged: political news Scotland

By Ailsa Colquhoun

Pharmaceutical suppliers’ readiness to maintain supplies after the end of the Brexit transition period and in light of COVID-19 have been called into question in the Scottish Parliament.

Scottish Labour MSP Monica Lennon (Central Scotland) asked whether the Scottish Government was confident that NHS National Services Scotland will be able to establish a sufficient supply or stockpile of medicines to see us through to the end of the transition period.

Minister for Parliamentary Business and Veterans Graeme Dey said pharmaceutical companies and suppliers have been contacted about increasing the stock of medicines. But, he said: “We know [this] will be more challenging given that we have only just written to companies and because of the impact of Covid-19 on supplies.”

He also added: “A more distant relationship with the European Medicines Agency could cause a potential loss of access to the single European licence for a new medicine, with all the difficulties that that would create. That would be in no one’s interests.”

He described as “reckless” the United Kingdom Government’s decision not to seek an extension to the transition period, adding: “[This] will compound the damage that the pandemic has done to our society and economy,