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UK and European Union

No-deal Brexit - and pancreatic cancer

Posted by: Policy and campaigning 26 March 2019

Over the last 2 years the UK Government has been negotiating the terms of the withdrawal agreement with the European Union, however, the political situation is uncertain and the future relationship remains unclear at the present time.

There’s a lot of debate about whether we’ll have a deal or a no-deal Brexit, and what either option could look like. But no one seems to have all the answers.

We looked at all the information to see what Brexit could mean for the pancreatic cancer community. We’ve chosen three questions to answer today, and as we get more information we’ll update this blog.

Will my treatments still be available if we leave without a deal?

The government has agreed to extend Article 50 and is continuing preparations for a possible no deal scenario on the 12th April. In the event that we leave the European Union without a deal, the Government has asked pharmaceuticals companies that supply medicines to ensure they have a minimum of 6 weeks’ stock before the date we exit EU.

The Government has also committed to extra shipping capacity, extra warehouse space and asked suppliers to ensure they have plans for air freight for medicines with a short shelf life.

Read more on guidance for patients issued by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC)

Will I still have access to clinical trials and future treatments?

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency has issued guidance in the event of no-deal, which details that for clinical trials existing proposals will continue to be recognised and that the UK would, where possible, align with the EU Clinical trial regulation.

The supply chain for products in clinical trials could also be impacted in the event of no deal, however, the DHSC has been working with people who run clinical trials to ensure that the UK has stockpiles adequate to cope and stated that these products in these trials will be priority in shipping.

The DHSC has set up a National Supply Disruption Response (NSDR) to monitor supply and coordinate actions in response to supply disruption for medicines and clinical trials. 

How have we been preparing for Brexit?

We are a member of the Association of Medical Research Charities and have been monitoring the situation and any potential impact on care and research through working with other cancer charities and coalitions.

As a member of the Cancer Campaigning Group, we have recently supported an amendment which called for the Government to conduct an impact assessment on ending freedom of movement on the health and social care, cancer and medical research workforce.

If you are worried about the impact of Brexit on your own treatment or that of a loved one, you can call our Support Line and speak to one of our Specialist Nurses on 0808 801 0707 or email nurse@pancreaticcancer.org.uk