The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) will lead a procurement exercise to secure an ‘express freight service’ to transport small medical supply consignments into the UK within 24 hours, if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.
The purpose of the procurement exercise it to support the uninterrupted supply of medicines and medical products where there is an urgent need or where a suppliers’ own logistics plans are disrupted.
A freight capacity framework agreement is also planned, that will provide government departments with the ability to secure freight capacity for critical supply chains as and when required. Medicines and medical products will be prioritised on capacity that is procured.
The aim of this exercise is to reduce any supply disruption. In addition to freight capacity DHSC plans to ensure stock levels across the following sectors:
- medical devices and clinical consumables
- blood and transplants
- vaccines and countermeasures
- supplies for clinical trials
- non-clinical goods and services
Other considerations included in this are:
- additional warehouse space for stockpiled medicines
- working with industry to improve trader readiness in preparation for the new customs procedures
- changing or clarifying regulatory requirements
- arrangements to deal with shortages
To find out more and view the official letter to suppliers from DHSC visit https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/medicines-and-medical-products-continuity-of-supply-update