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Pharmaceutical industry to answer questions on post-Brexit NI drug supply

9 November 2020

Representatives from the UK’s pharmaceutical industry body, the ABPI, will be questioned by the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee on how the Northern Ireland Protocol will affect the supply of medical drugs in Northern Ireland.

On 5 November the Government announced an agreement in principle had been reached with the EU for the phased introduction of post-Brexit medicines regulation. The agreement would give the industry until the end of 2021 to prepare for new regulatory arrangements. However, little further information has been given on the agreement and how it will operate.

Before the agreement, there had been concerns that drugs entering Northern Ireland from Great Britain would not be compliant with EU rules, preventing their being supplied to patients. Under the NI Protocol, Northern Ireland will stay under the EU regulatory regime, including for medicines, following the end of the transition period.

ABPI directors Colette Goldrick and Dr Richard Greville are likely to be asked about:

  • the effect of the Protocol on the cost and availability of drugs in NI;

  • whether the agreement reached with the EU provides for long-term security of supplies;

  • whether the agreement gives the industry sufficient lead-in time to prepare for new arrangements;

  • the likelihood of UK and EU regulatory regimes diverging in the future; and

  • industry preparedness for the end of transition.

The evidence session is the third of the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee’s Brexit and the Northern Ireland Protocol Inquiry.

Witnesses

Wednesday 11 November 2020, Committee Room 16, Palace of Westminster

  • Colette Goldrick, Director, NHS Engagement and ABPI Northern Ireland, the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI);

  • Dr Richard Greville, Director, Distribution & Supply and ABPI Cymru Wales, Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry.

Further information

Image: katicaj from Pixabay