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Sunday, July 29, 2018

The Brexit threat to diabetes patients

After outlining Government inaction on key Brexit issues yesterday, more than a year after these problems were highlighted, it is no comfort to read in the Independent yet more consequences of a hard Brexit, this time for those suffering from diabetes.

The paper quotes the chair of the UK medicines regulator as warning that millions of diabetes patients, including Theresa May herself, could be “seriously disadvantaged” if supplies of insulin are affected by a no-deal Brexit.

Sir Michael Rawlins, who chairs the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), said the UK imports “every drop” of insulin, a vital medication used by some 3.7 million people to manage the chronic condition. He has called on officials to ensure drugs do not run out if the government fails to secure a deal with Brussels.

Minister have announced that plans are in motion to stockpile drugs, medical devices and blood products in the event of a no deal, as speculation over such a scenario grows. However, in the long-term, if we are not able to import drugs such as insulin the UK needs to start manufacturing its own supply. That will take time to set up.

As deadlines approach and no agreement appears to be the likely outcome of talks, these issues are going to come more and more to the forefront. That is why we need to rethink this whole approach and allow the voters to decide if this is really the path we want to go down, once there is something to vote on.
I agree with the sentiment behind the post, but this does have a smack of sensationalist journalism ! Of the near 4 million diabeics in the UK, most ( estimated at 90% ) have Type 2, and most of them don't need insulin injections - which IS vital to Type 1 diabetics.

Many of us Type 2 diabetics can control the condition through diet and exercise, others need medication such as metformin

Yes, the hard Brexit will affect all the Type 1 patients, and some Type 2 , but by no means the full 4 million.


Alisdair Gibbs-Barton

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