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Medicines manufacturers have warned that a no-deal Brexit “makes no sense” because the UK would no longer be a part of the Falsified Medicines Directive (FMD).
The Europe-wide anti-counterfeiting legislation, which came into effect on 9 February, will see everyone in the supply chain – from manufacturers and retailers, to pharmacies, GPs and hospitals – ensure that the medicines they sell are authentic. The information will be included on a central a database, called the European Medicines Verification System (EMVS).
The UK helped design this system over the last two years, but it will not be a part of it if it leaves the EU without a deal.
Director of supply chain at the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (APBI), Dr Rick Greville, said: “Billions of packs of medicines travel around the EU annually, destined for over 500 million patients. This new system means that patients across Europe will have the best protection from fake medicines in the world.
“It would be an absolute travesty if NHS patients aren’t part of a system specifically designed to protect them. But that’s exactly what could happen in a ‘no deal’ Brexit. It is just another reason why we urgently need a Brexit deal.”
ABPI chief executive, Mike Thompson, said: “No-deal is not in the interests of the NHS or its patients. Not being part of the safest medicines system in the world, one that the UK has helped design and build, makes no sense.”