International Hospitals & Healthcare

New system to protect patients from fake meds post Brexit

Pill bottle fake news

Tomorrow, a new system to protect patients from falsified or fake medicines will go live across the UK and Europe, making the medicines supply chain across Europe safer than ever before.

The system should assuage fears that the UK will drop out of the safest medicines system in the world in the event of a no-deal Brexit. It is a world first, and will secure the supply chain of medicines so that patients can be completely confident that the medicines they are taking are genuine and safe. As part of the new system, new safety features have been applied to packs of medicines so that pharmacists and patients can easily see whether they have been tampered with.

However, due to Brexit uncertainty, organisations don’t know whether the system will still be in place in seven weeks’ time as a no-deal Brexit would mean a UK revocation of the Falsified Medicines Directive legislation.

“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,” said Dr Rick Greville, Director of Supply Chain at the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI).

Mike Thompson, Chief Executive of the ABPI, said: “’No deal’ is not in the interest 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 – and which provides protection against fake medicines – makes no sense. Being part of a system that keeps them safe is the minimum that UK patients should expect.”