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British government protecting high demand medicine for use in COVID-19 patients

Published on 25/03/20 at 12:44pm
Photo by Mateus Hidalgo

The British government has implemented new restrictions to protect high demand medicines for coronavirus patients.

80 medicines and being banned from parallel export and this cover drugs like adrenaline, insulin, paracetamol and morphine. Parallel exporting is when companies buy drugs meant for UK patients and then sell it in another country at an increased price.

If companies do break the new restrictions and export these drugs, it is expected the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) could potentially have their licenses revoked.

Health Minister Lord Bethell commented on the new regulations and said: “Our brilliant NHS staff are going above and beyond to provide world-class care to patients with coronavirus and we are supporting them in every way we can. We are today banning the parallel export of more than 80 crucial medicines to protect patients in the UK and help ensure they can always get the treatments they need.”

There is already a process to deal with medicine shortages, but due to the unprecedented situation caused by the coronavirus, the government is taking further action to make sure there are no shortages of essential drugs for people suffering from the virus.

The world is facing potential shortages of pharmaceuticals due to most of the active pharmaceutical ingredients being primarily imported from China and also India. These countries are securing their own supply lines first leading to fears the rest of the world could face shortages.  

Conor Kavanagh

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