Sat, 24 February 2024

Newsletter sign-up

Subscribe now
The House Live All
Creating prosperity and growth: the importance of innovation in the UK economy Partner content
By Mastercard
Being a responsible, long-term partner to Britain Partner content
UK advertising announces blockbuster SXSW 2024 programme Partner content
Press releases

Government facing £2bn bill for no-deal Brexit drugs stockpile, claim pro-EU group

Emilio Casalicchio

1 min read

A government plan to stockpile six weeks’ worth of medicines in case of a no-deal Brexit could cost taxpayers up to £2bn, it has been claimed.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock wrote to GPs and pharmacists last week assuring them the Government would guarantee supplies in case imports from the EU are hit by a sudden departure from the bloc.

According to health think tank the King’s Fund earlier this year, the total drugs bill for the NHS in 2016/17 was £17.4bn.

Anti-Brexit campaign group Best for Britain said a similar cost over a six-week period would come to £2bn.

Labour ex-frontbencher Owen Smith, speaking on behalf of the campaign, said: “Every day it seems as though there is another hidden cost being revealed.”

He added: “I don’t remember anyone warning that Brexit would mean we’d have to stockpile drugs or that this would cost the NHS and taxpayers up to £2bn.

“Maybe they should have slapped that on the side of the bus.”

A spokesman for the Department of Health said the Government was currently sounding out suppliers to “gauge how prepared the industry is before we decide the next steps”.

He added: “We have put in place a dedicated team to support suppliers in making arrangements for stockpiling and we will work with companies to develop plans to minimise any additional costs.”

PoliticsHome Newsletters

PoliticsHome provides the most comprehensive coverage of UK politics anywhere on the web, offering high quality original reporting and analysis: Subscribe

Engineering a Better World

The Engineering a Better World podcast series from The House magazine and the IET is back for series two! New host Jonn Elledge discusses with parliamentarians and industry experts how technology and engineering can provide policy solutions to our changing world.

NEW SERIES - Listen now