Diabetes UK and JDRF are today re-stating their calls on the UK Government to urgently provide concrete detail on its plans to ensure no interruption to the availability of insulin and other medical supplies in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
“We cannot say with confidence that people will be able to get the
insulin and other medical supplies they need in the event of a no-deal
Chris Askew, Chief Executive of Diabetes UK and Karen Addington, Chief Executive of JDRF, have made the following statement: “With just a matter of weeks between now and 29th March and, despite reaching out directly to the Department of Health and Social Care in December, we still have not seen the concrete detail needed to reassure us – or people with diabetes – that the UK Government’s plans are robust enough to guarantee no impact on insulin and medicine supplies in the event of a no-deal Brexit.”
“We are increasingly hearing from worried people who do not feel reassured by existing published guidance on this issue. With the information available to date, we feel unable to fully alleviate their concerns.
“We want to reassure people but – based on the information currently available – we cannot say with confidence that people will be able to get the insulin and other medical supplies they need in the event of a no-deal Brexit.”
The joint statement follows warnings from pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk, based in the Netherlands, who are one of a limited number of major insulin suppliers to the UK. The manufacturer voiced clear concerns in recent weeks that they had stockpiled as much of the unstable, life-saving medicine as possible but would need to resort to emergency air freight arrangements in order to keep supplies available to patients.
“Normally, I would approach an independent expert for a comment on such a story, so I asked my 7-year-old daughter who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 2016.”
Normally, I would approach an independent expert for a comment on such a story, so I asked my 7-year-old daughter who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 2016. She is a subject matter expert.
She told me: “I hate diabetes and I hate Brexit.”
She is dependent on Nova Rapid, made by Novo Nordisk, and her test strips and insulin pump are also manufactured by EU companies. Britain does not produce insulin, aside from pig insulin unsuitable to treat humans, or the rest of the equipment upon which thousands of lives depend.
Diabetes UK wrote to Health Secretary Matt Hancock in December, and subsequently to Health Minister Stephen Hammond last week. Diabetes UK and JDRF are making today’s statement as responses from the Secretary of State and the Minister have not yet provided the detail the charities say is necessary to reassure people living with or affected by diabetes.
Askew and Addington concluded their statement, saying: “Insulin is a life-saving necessity for hundreds of thousands of people with diabetes, and any delay or interruption to access would be incredibly dangerous. The UK Government must – with all urgency – produce the detail needed to reassure the public that it, and all relevant organisations involved in the smooth supply of insulin into the UK, have robust systems and agreements in place to ensure this supply in the event of a no-deal Brexit.”
“Insulin is a life-saving necessity for hundreds of thousands of people with diabetes, and any delay or interruption to access would be incredibly dangerous.”
Both Diabetes UK and JDRF have published information on their websites with the latest on Brexit, to answer the concerns people may have about access to insulin and other medical supplies.
People with diabetes use other imported medications, technologies and consumables such as test strips, needles, and insulin pump and glucose monitoring cannulas, all of which are essential in diabetes management.
Further information is available at:
Diabetes UK: LINK
Diabetes UK has also developed a new contact form available specifically for people living with or affected by diabetes to share their concerns about Brexit and medicine supplies.
This story is deeply personal to me and I have made my view clear that
if a no deal Brexit in any way affects my daughter I will not stop until
those responsible are held personally to account. And I mean it.
“If a no deal Brexit in any way affects my daughter I will not stop until those responsible are held personally to account.”