Chair of the United Kingdom medicines regulator has warned that a no-deal Brexit would make it hard for Prime Minister Theresa May, a diabetes patient, and millions of other like her in Britain to find insulin.
Sir Michael Rawlins said Sunday that insulin shortage would seriously hit the UK if the country leaves the European Union in March with no deal.
Rawlins said that Britain imports “every drop” of insulin, a vital medication used by some 3.7 million people to manage the their diabetes.
“Disruption to the supply chain is one of the ways that patients could be seriously disadvantaged. It could be a reality if we don’t get our act together,” he said, adding, “We can’t suddenly start manufacturing insulin – it’s got to be sorted, no question.”
Rawlins said the government was expected to ensure drugs do not run out if the it fails to secure a deal with Brussels.
The comments come after government authorities said they have plans in place for storing food and medicine for an event of a no-deal Brexit. Reports have suggested such a scenario could cause serious disruptions to the routine life in Britain and some have even warned of a real unrest.
May has ruled out the possibility of a no-deal Brexit despite the fact that senior EU officials have rejected her controversial Chequers plan which outlines Britain’s conditions for leaving the EU.
However, May could personally feel the awful consequences of the no-deal Brexit. She has spoken in the past about her chronic diabetes condition, which is of type 1, saying she regularly injects insulin.
Rawlins released a statement on Friday saying he had warned even before Matt Hancock, the new health secretary, that there would be acute shortages of some medicines in the UK in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
“Here’s just one example why: we make no insulin in the UK. We import every drop of it,” he told Pharmaceutical Journal in an interview published Sunday, adding, “You can’t transport insulin around ordinarily because it must be temperature-controlled.”
Sources have said that the government wants to ignore calls for remaining in the European medicines regulatory network.