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Availability of certain HRT treatments after Brexit

(17 Posts)
borntobequiet Tue 05-Dec-17 08:48:40

I've been concerned for a while now, but a report on the Today programme on the impact of Brexit on NHS medicine supply lines has upped my concern. Both I and my daughter use oestrogen gel, manufactured in Belgium, to control (in my case) symptoms of the menopause and (in hers) very severe symptoms due to hysterectomy in her 30s. Without these products my life would be adversely affected, and she would find it very difficult to function at all. I don't think there are comparable products manufactured in the UK, and if there were I doubt supplies would be sufficient.
No idea what to do, so really just posting to increase awareness of what could be a problem for many (and it's difficult enough to get treatment anyway, without lack of availability of medication).

PollyPerky Tue 05-Dec-17 09:58:35

I hadn't heard that but I sincerely hope the import would not be affected.
It is in Besin's interests t o continue exporting as much as it is for us to import. I'd assume that if there was an issue some UK manufacturer would pick up the production. Why do you think they could not meet a demand?

In any case, Oestrodose which is a generic version some of us are given, is packaged in the UK even though the raw product comes from Besins.

borntobequiet Tue 05-Dec-17 10:39:08

Yes, it's in everyone's interests to import/export, the potential problem flagged up in the report was in the supply chain, possibly delaying supplies and resulting in shortages. (I assume problems could be caused by additional customs checks if out of the customs union, and regulatory issues if out of the single market.) However it takes foresight and planning to arrange alternative production, and I have no idea if that is going on for HRT products or indeed for any other imported medicines. Imports of raw product would be affected in the same way as packaged products (I use Oestrodose).

PollyPerky Tue 05-Dec-17 14:23:01

There are potentially 1000s of medicines that could be affected. It's still all in the melting pot and UK companies like AZ, Roche and GSK will be doing all they can to ensure that free trade continues. My opinion is the issue has been hyped up by the media. Yes, it's a risk, but there are people out there on life saving drugs that will be at risk so I really don't think it will happen. If so, there is always Sandrena gel (not sure where that is made) or patches .

borntobequiet Tue 05-Dec-17 14:41:47

I don't think that one fairly restrained report on Radio 4 constitutes being hyped up by the I missing lots of other coverage? If so, where?

Hillingdon Tue 05-Dec-17 14:45:15

Honestly there is more things to worry about than this. I presume you are a Remainer?

Even if there is no trade deal do you really think VW will say goodbye to the UK market? We are the biggest buyer of their cars apparently.

PilarTernera Tue 05-Dec-17 14:57:18

Parliament are investigating the effects of Brexit on the supply chain of medicines in the UK and the media are reporting on it. That's not hype imo. It's a serious issue for thousands of people, doesn't just apply to HRT.

borntobequiet Tue 05-Dec-17 15:11:55

There are lots more things to worry about, true. But I personally worry about this (as well as other issues to do with medicines and the impact of Brexit on the NHS). It appears to me that these issues have not been addressed at all, and they are important. Yes, I am a Remainer, but surely all will be affected, Remainer and Leaver alike, by the consequences of what might be a hard Brexit. (We have already lost the EMA, which David Davis said would not happen, and we haven't even left yet.)
I don't understand the reference to VW.

GreenPurpleRed Tue 05-Dec-17 15:20:18

What else should the OP be worrying about hmm

Stop being dismissive of what a cluster fuck Brexit currently looks like.

And yes I voted remain, as you can probably tell from my realism not pie-in-the-sky 'you'll be fine' with little to back that statement up.

PollyPerky Tue 05-Dec-17 15:39:17

My understanding of this from what I read today see here is that is more about UK companies having issues exporting and retaining their share of the market.

I am a Remainer. But I cannot believe that millions of people in the UK- some of whom rely on drugs for cancer etc - would be without medicines post Brexit. This would be catastrophic.

I mentioned Sandrena as an option to gel, but it's made and exported from Finland. Would that still get into the Uk without a problem? Who knows.

Utrogestan the other drug I use is also made by Besins, so I'd be well and truly buggered.

If you look at the figures- nos of medicines in the article- they have to find a way to resolve this that will not affect consumers. People would be dying all over the shop if they didn't.

borntobequiet Tue 05-Dec-17 15:56:08

I'm sorry to say that many years of experience have taught me that it's by no means beyond the capabilities of governments of whatever type to make political and economic decisions that deliberately or inadvertently result the needless illness and death of citizens. They are often able to do this because the electorate and the media don't ask the right questions beforehand.

PollyPerky Tue 05-Dec-17 16:21:07

So what are you going to do about it ? smile
Tweet? Write to The Times? Call Eddie Mair? contact BBC Today? Lobby your MP?
All very well posting here.....

borntobequiet Tue 05-Dec-17 16:28:41

I've written to my MP. I'm going to ask my GP when I see her next. After that, not sure. What's the problem with posting on here? Reasons for doing so were to see if anyone else was worried and to get ideas of what to do.

PollyPerky Tue 05-Dec-17 16:50:33

There is no issue posting here, I meant if you felt very strongly, then doing something about it is the way forward, with people who have some influence.
I will ask my consultant when I can because they ought to know .

lljkk Tue 05-Dec-17 19:31:21

There are quite a few mentions previously on MN about how UK access to medication could be screwed over by leaving EU with no deal & lousy plans for replacing the EMA function in UK.

Article from January 2016 about the likely regulatory chaos expected to be caused by Brexit.

The big impact is thought to be for new drugs, though, not existing ones. Britain having regulatory hurdles separate from EU, when UK is only 3% of global market... well, would you bother jumping thru those hoops if you were Big Pharma?

borntobequiet Thu 02-Aug-18 08:34:27

Bumping this...
I wonder when it will get moved to the Brexit section?
After shortages of the gel earlier in the year due to a manufacturing problem, I became very aware of how my and my daughter's lives would be adversely impacted. Pharmacist and GP seem not to know anything...

QueenoftheNights Thu 02-Aug-18 11:32:33

Companies are stock piling. The delay will be at point of entry . I have a family member in pharma and know they are stockpiling already. I think the trick is always to order your next batch before you are down to your last few days of any item.

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