Government publishes update on veterinary medicine supply in a no deal EU Exit

Further details of the preparations underway to minimise disruption of the supply of veterinary medicines in a no deal EU Exit have been published by Defra. 

The Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) has set out detail on the preparations underway to ensure a continued supply of veterinary medicines in a no deal scenario.

The VMD and the pharmaceutical industry already have well-established procedures to deal with medicine shortages, working closely with those operating in the supply chain to ensure that risks are minimised when they do arise.

The government has also put in place a multi-layered approach to support the industry to reduce any supply disruption in veterinary medicines. These plans include:

  • Securing additional space for veterinary medicines on government-procured ferries. This gives suppliers the option to use alternative ferry routes avoiding the Dover-Calais (short strait) crossing where there is potential risk of significant disruption. This additional space has been secured as veterinary medicines have been classed as critical goods, essential for the preservation of animal welfare.
  • Minimising changes to, or providing clarifications of, regulatory requirements so companies can continue to sell their products in the UK in a no deal scenario.
  • Strengthening the established processes and resources used to deal with shortages in the event that they do occur. This includes extending the VMD’s industry supply reporting system in order to understand the reasons for potential supply issues and take appropriate action.
  • Permitting the use of medicines authorised in other countries which can be imported through the VMD’s Special Import scheme.

Working with the VMD, trade bodies and animal health companies have also already been carrying out contingency planning. These include maintaining sensible levels of stock in the UK and changing supply routes.

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