The shortage of medicines is set to get worse in Ireland because stockpiles created to lessen the impact of Brexit are running out, the chair of Medicines for Ireland has warned.

According to today’s Irish Examiner, it comes as shortages affect 207 products, up from 187 before Christmas including cough syrup and multi-purpose antibiotics.

The UK left the European Union on January 31, 2020 with new rules in place since January, 2021.

However Brexit-related consequences for the Irish medicines market are only now emerging in earnest, chairperson Padraic O’ Brien explained.

“Most of the manufacturing suppliers or the generic suppliers in Ireland would have increased their stock-in-hand, they would have forward bought and bought stock into Ireland to have it by the time they needed to have all the different regulatory processes in place,” he said.

Mr O’ Brien said this took place during 2020.

“We have benefitted from having a huge quantum of stock of various medicines and that has decreased, as we exit out of that initial Brexit phase,” he warned.

“We are now just starting to see the consequences where weaknesses exist in supply.” 

 

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