JDRF and Diabetes UK call on the Government to provide more detail on access to insulin in the event of a no-deal Brexit

Posted on 14 February 2019

Insulin vials

The type 1 diabetes charity JDRF and the charity Diabetes UK have re-stated 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.

In a joint statement issued today, UK Chief Executive of JDRF Karen Addington and Chris Askew, Chief Executive of Diabetes UK, explain how without more detail, they are unable to say a no-deal Brexit would be safe for people reliant on insulin:

“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.

“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.”

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.

UPDATE: Since publishing the story, we have had conversations at the highest levels within both the Department of Health and Social Care, and NHS England. As a result of these conversations, we’ve had commitment both from the Department, and from NHS England, that both Diabetes UK and JDRF will be given the opportunity to view detailed plans in relation to continued supply of both insulin and other diabetes-related medical supplies.

We’re encouraged by these new early developments and, as soon as these important meetings have taken place, we’ll update you all.

Follow updates on www.jdrf.org.uk/news for the latest on this issue as we hear it.

Blood glucose levels testing

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