Brexit may cause drug shortages and put lives at risk say health experts in letter to Boris Johnson

Doctors’ leaders and health experts have warned Boris Johnson that lives could be put at risk by drug shortages after Brexit.

In a joint letter, 17 royal colleges and charities said they were ‘simply unable to reassure patients’ that their care will not be damaged – in particular by No Deal.

They said shortages caused by border delays after October 31 would be exacerbated by winter pressures on the NHS.

Boris Johnson at the Royal Cornwall Hospital. Doctors¿ leaders and health experts have warned Mr Johnson that lives could be put at risk by drug shortages after Brexit

Boris Johnson at the Royal Cornwall Hospital. Doctors¿ leaders and health experts have warned Mr Johnson that lives could be put at risk by drug shortages after Brexit

Boris Johnson at the Royal Cornwall Hospital. Doctors’ leaders and health experts have warned Mr Johnson that lives could be put at risk by drug shortages after Brexit

Signatories include the Royal College of Physicians, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, The Royal College of GPs and the Royal College of Emergency Medicine.

The letter says: ‘Even the smallest of problems could have huge consequences for the wellbeing of millions.’

Their letter says: ‘The public rightly expects candour from us, and we are simply unable to reassure patients that their health and care won’t be negatively impacted by the UK’s exit from the EU.

‘We still have significant concerns about shortages of medical supplies.

‘Delays at our borders could exacerbate supply issues and create the very real possibility that life-saving medication and devices are delayed from making it into the UK.

‘The need for preparedness is compounded by the fact we are scheduled to leave the EU, potentially on a No Deal basis, just as flu and winter season begins.

The Prime Minister is being encouraged to come up with an EU exit strategy that includes provision for different flu scenarios

The Prime Minister is being encouraged to come up with an EU exit strategy that includes provision for different flu scenarios

The Prime Minister is being encouraged to come up with an EU exit strategy that includes provision for different flu scenarios

‘Even a “moderate” flu season places significant pressure on the NHS.

‘Your EU exit strategy must include provision for different flu scenarios, and the Secretary of State is well placed to coordinate that.’

The letter says Health Secretary Matt Hancock must be put on the EU No Deal planning committee chaired by Michael Gove to ensure patient safety and health is ‘at the heart of Brexit negotiations’.

The letter added: ‘If not properly planned for, even the smallest of problems could have huge consequences for the lives and wellbeing of millions of people.’

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