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Novo Nordisk stockpiles 16 weeks' worth of insulin in preparation for hard Brexit

Published on 10/09/18 at 04:57pm
Image Credit: SimpleSimpleSimple

Danish multinational Novo Nordisk has announced that they are increasing their stocks of insulin products to ensure that there are 16 weeks’ worth of supplies, in preparation for a hard no deal Brexit. 

The announcement has come after the UK’s health secretary Matt Hancock told pharmaceutical companies to stockpile medicines in preparation for a hard exit from the European Union.

The company which supplies more than half of the UK’s insulin supplies is set to increase its stockpiles from seven weeks’ worth of supplies, to 16 weeks’ worth. The stockpiling is set to begin in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Pinder Sahota, Corporate Vice President of Novo Nordisk UK commented: “Our first commitment is to ensure that patients treated with our medicines remain unaffected in the event of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit. We are working closely with trade associations in the UK and the EU to ensure that the interests of our patients are at the forefront of negotiations.

Our decision to increase stock is in line with the technical notices and guidance published by the Government to industry. We are also working collaboratively with the Department of Health to ensure continuity of supply, irrespective of the outcome of Brexit negotiations.”

The announcement has come after concern was raised as to the guarantee of a continuous supply of insulin into the UK after Brexit. In July, Sir Michael Rawlins, the chair of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) suggested that: “We make no insulin in the UK. We import every drop of it. You can’t transport insulin around ordinarily because it must be temperature-controlled. And there are 3.5 million people [with diabetes, some of whom] rely on insulin, not least the Prime Minister.”

While not completely accurate it was noted that just one company, the Wrexham-based Wockhardt UK, produces insulin inside Britain. 

Louis Goss

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