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DHSC to spend £11m on medicine shortages in preparation for no-deal Brexit

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) will spend around £11m on medicine shortage preparations, in case of a no-deal Brexit.

The DHSC told Pulse’s sister publication Healthcare Leader it ‘expects to spend around £11m on warehouse contracts to store medicines in preparation’ for the UK’s exit.

But health secretary Matt Hancock added the figure could be ‘a little higher’.

Mr Hancock previously announced that the Government is building extra ‘refrigeration capacity’ in case a no-deal Brexit leaves the UK short of certain medicines.

However, he warned GPs not to stockpile medical goods or write longer prescriptions due to Brexit, otherwise they will be ‘investigated’.

Questioned in Parliament last week, Mr Hancock was asked how much the DHSC has already spent on preparing for a no-deal Brexit ‘after activating NHS no-deal contingency plans’.

He said: ‘The NHS is not generally buying the extra medicines that are going into the elongated stockpiles, but the pharmaceutical industry is because of course we’ll eventually buy most of those medicines for the NHS.

‘So there have been costs in the pharmaceutical industry as well, but the cost so far to the taxpayers is £11m and I expect it to remain around that level if not a little higher.’

A spokesperson for the DHSC added: ‘The Department expects to spend around £11m on warehouse contracts to store medicines in preparation for a no-deal Brexit.’

Last December, the Government stressed there was no need for GPs to stockpile medicines, vaccines, medical devices or clinical consumables, in spite of the uncertainty surrounding Brexit.

A version of this article was first published by Pulse’s sister publication Healthcare Leader.