71-75 Shelton Street
Rt. Hon Matthew Hancock MP
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
Department of Health and Social Care
39 Victoria Street
28th July 2018
Dear Secretary of State,
There have been numerous reports in the print and social media about the possibility of a shortage in time sensitive medicines such as insulin.
The USA and EU re leading suppliers but currently none is manufactured commercially within the UK. All medicines used by the NHS are licenced by the MHRA. All medicines approved by the European Medicines Agency are licenced in any case for use in the UK.
I have asked a leading United States supplier of insulin the following questions and I ask them also of you. It is important every effort is made to ensure supplies of essential medicine to and from the UK remain available during any transition arrangement with the EU or indeed without any deal.
1. If the MHRA allowed on a temporary basis unilateral licencing in the UK of Food & Drug Administration approved medicines and devices would there be any further hindrance to the UK importing insulin directly from the United States for the foreseeable future?
2. If the USA and UK signed and ratified the pharmaceutical chapter (current draft) of TTIP, without a broader scope trade deal, would this provide a sustainable platform on which UK USA trade in pharmaceuticals could be carried out?
Accelerating a partial scope agreement with the United States on Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices, given both have standalone chapters within the final draft of TTIP, would be an obvious route to ensuring supplies of essential healthcare products.
While the process of making such arrangements falls outside the remit of the DoH, the outcome of such an agreement would be felt by it.
3. Has the DoH previously mooted any such partial scope agreement with any major trading area given the importance of essential medicines to the healthcare of the nation?
Mr. Jonathan Stanley MBChB MRCS(Eng) PGHEM
Health Research Fellow, Bow Group