No-deal Brexit Could Make Europe's Medicine Shortage Worse
Britain will leave the European Union with or without a deal on October 31, says British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Now, some health professionals are saying that leaving the EU without a deal could increase medicine shortages in both the EU and Britain.
Britain's food and drink organization warned last week that the country could also have shortages of some fresh foods if there is a no-deal Brexit.
Pharmaceutical companies have said the same. They are worried about the availability of some medicine. Some have organized flights to bring in supplies if needed.
A shortage of medical supplies could also occur beyond Britain.
EU countries receive about 45 million containers of medicines from Britain every month. But some drugs might not have the required regulatory approval in time to be imported from Britain. About 1 billion containers go in one direction or the other each year, industry information shows.
Increased customs controls at ports and other borders between Britain and the EU could also cause shortages. Experts say the controls could slow supplies of drugs and the chemicals needed to produce them.
"A no-deal Brexit risks disruption to the supply of medicines," throughout the EU, Andy Powrie-Smith said. He is an official at the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations.
Drugs in the EU are regulated by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). The agency is the only body that can approve sales of new drugs to treat the most common and serious diseases, including cancer.
It said the EU is prepared for Brexit, and it has final approval for nearly all the 400 drugs that required further clearing. However, approval is not finalized for three medicines that need EU-wide licenses, an EMA official said. He did not identify the drugs.
Many other medicines approved at the national level could also be at risk. Nearly 6,000 of these drugs will need to go through a new licensing process after Brexit.
The EMA official said the agency did not have "a full picture" of the situation in all EU states for nationally approved medicines.
A survey of 21 European countries showed that all of them had shortages of medicines last year, explained the Pharmaceutical Group of the European Union. They faced problems with production, regulators or distribution. Vaccines were among the drugs most often in short supply.
Eric Van Nueten is the head of a large medicine business in Belgium that supplies medicine to stores. He noted the industry will see some problems and delays if Britain leaves without a deal. "But I think we will be able to manage," he added.
I'm Susan Shand.
1.the European Union 欧盟
The two countries account for around half of all defence spending in the European Union.
2.at risk 面临...的危险
He emphasized that everyone was at risk for the disease.
3.fresh foods 生鲜食品；新鲜食品
Fresh food is so scarce that prices have rocketed.
4.go through 参加；经历
South Africa was going through a period of irreversible change.
5.A shortage of medical supplies could also occur beyond Britain.
A shortage of 缺乏
A shortage of funds is preventing the UN from monitoring relief
There is a shortage of council housing
6.Some have organized flights to bring in supplies if needed.
if needed 如果有需要
Financial companies will have to raise more funds from the government if needed.
If needed, you may book the ticket now.
英国首相鲍里斯·约翰逊表示，无论是否达成协议，英国都将在10月31日退出欧盟 。现在，一些卫生专家表示，无协议脱欧可能会加剧欧盟和英国的药品短缺 。
制药公司也表达了相同的担忧 。他们担心一些药品的供应 。有公司已经组织了航班在必要时运送医疗用品 。
欧洲国家每个月大约从英国进口约4500万集装箱药品 。但是一些药品可能无法及时获得从英国进口所需的监管部门审批 。据行业数据显示，每年大约有10亿集装箱进、出口 。
英国和欧盟之间港口及其它边境加强海关管制也可能会导致短缺 。专家称，这些控制措施可能会减缓药品以及生产这些药品所需化学品的供应 。
安迪·鲍里-史密斯表示：“无协议脱欧可能会扰乱整个欧洲市场的药品供应 。”他是欧洲制药工业协会联合会的官员 。
欧盟药品受欧洲药品管理局监管 。该局是唯一有权批准销售治疗常见病以及癌症等严重疾病新药的机构 。
该局表示，欧盟已经做好了英国脱欧的准备，并且最终批准了几乎所有需进一步明确的400种药品 。然而，欧洲药品管理局的一位官员表示，有3种需在欧盟范围内获得许可的药品尚未最终获审 。他没有透露具体的药品 。
很多国家层面批准的其它药品也可能面临风险 。英国脱欧后，近6000种此类药物将需要通过新的许可程序 。
欧盟制药集团解释称，一项针对21个欧洲国家的调查显示，这些国家去年都出现了药品短缺 。他们面临着生产、监管和分销方面方面的问题 。疫苗是最供不应求的药品之一 。
埃里克·范纽腾（Eric Van Nueten）是比利时一家向药店供货的大型医药企业负责人 。他指出，如果英国无协议脱欧，该行业将会出现一些问题和延误 。他还说：“但我认为我们能够处理妥当 。”