Essential medications after Brexit – a worrying silence

Guardian letters:

“Regarding Patrick Cosgrove’s letter (I don’t want to go blind due to Brexit, 29 October), I would like to make a similar case about type 1 diabetes.

Like Theresa May, I have type 1 diabetes and am insulin-dependent. I emailed Matt Hancock as I am concerned about how supplies of insulin will be ensured once we leave the EU. Diabetes patients may be interested in the response I received from the Department of Health and Social Care (and in knowing that Keith Vaz has emailed to say he will be taking my concerns further). The reply said the contingency plans include “precautionary stockpiling by suppliers, to ensure that the supply of insulin to patients is not disrupted”. This is worrying as insulin needs to be refrigerated and my understanding is that very little insulin is produced in this country. Perhaps Mrs May could give us some answers?
Lisa Parker
Nailsworth, Gloucestershire

• Patrick Cosgrove is not alone in trying, and failing, to find out about the availability of drugs on which he is dependent in the event of a no-deal Brexit. I am in a similar position. Over three months ago, I wrote to my MP (Julian Sturdy) and asked for “an informed comment on certainty of supply of pharmaceuticals in the event of a hard or ‘no deal’ Brexit”. Over six weeks later he replied, asking for details, which I supplied. Another six weeks have passed, 29 March looms, and I still have no information. I am coming to the frightening conclusion that no one actually has a clue about what will happen.
Steven Burkeman
York

• Patrick Cosgrove raises the pressing issue of medication availability post-Brexit. My own four daily doses are made variously in Austria, Germany, Spain and Slovenia. Without them I’m in trouble. But what about my son and all the other transplant patients who must have their anti-rejection meds? And those with diabetes? I await my MP’s advice, not very hopefully.

Any hope out there, anyone?
David Moore
Somerton, Somerset

• Like Patrick Cosgrove, I have hereditary glaucoma and have been prescribed Ganfort for many years. Three months ago my prescription was changed to preservative-free Ganfort. It is currently proving very difficult to obtain this due to the complexities of the pharmaceutical industry. Thanks to a diligent pharmacist, I’ve not been let down yet; my medicine has arrived monthly, but since the change in prescription it has been very delayed. I now need to order it earlier to ensure I am not left without. Last month it came via a Spanish source.

I don’t want to go blind for this “cause” either. To the government: open your eyes and see (unless you have glaucoma).
Gill Sellen
Corfe Castle, Dorset”

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/nov/04/no-deal-fears-over-drug-supplies

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