IPHA uses roundtable to outline industry’s Brexit preparations

Posted on December, 06 - 2018

With the Brexit clock ticking down, IPHA  has hosted a roundtable to outline the steps the industry is taking to to minimise any potential disruption to the continued supply of medicines to patients in Ireland. These preparations, which have primarily involved ensuring regulatory and supply chain readiness and compliance, have been under way for some time ahead a final determination of how the UK leaves the European Union, with or without a deal.

The scale of the Brexit preparedness task the pharmaceutical industry faces is significant. Ireland has a critical reliance on the UK as a source of medicines. Up to 70% of medicines on the Irish market either come from, or transit, the UK. As well as that, up to 60% of medicines marketed here share common labels with the UK. Every month, around 45 million packs of medicines leave the UK destined for patients in Europe. Some 37 million packs transit the opposite way. That amounts to around one billion packs of medicine crossing the border between the UK and the European Union every year.

In preparing for Brexit, the industry been working closely with the Irish medicines regulator, the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA), health authorities, customs officials and other State agencies. The roundtable this week heard from some of these stakeholders, including Government Spokesperson on Brexit in Seanad Éireann Senator Neale Richmond; IPHA Brexit Group Chairperson Loretto Callaghan; the HPRA’s Rita Purcell; and the Revenue Commissioners’ Ray Ryan.

Next week, MPs in Westminister are due to vote on the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement.