Problems being caused to medicines supply by Protocol “indefensible” – Beattie

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Problems being caused to medicines supply by Protocol “indefensible” – Beattie

UUP Leader Doug Beattie MC MLA said:

“The report from the Nuffield Trust confirms what we have been warning – that the Protocol is affecting the availability of certain medicines in Northern Ireland that are accessible in the rest of the United Kingdom.

“We have long said that medicines should not be included within the scope of the Protocol.  It is indefensible that people in Northern Ireland do not have equitable access to medicines available in other regions of the UK.  There needs to be a lasting solution found that provides equitable access and gives manufacturers certainty. 

“The problems flowing from the Protocol are already starkly manifesting here in medicines but will only grow as the divergence between the United Kingdom and European Union increases.  We need to have confidence that the UK Government is tracking divergence, so these problems aren’t only being dealt with once they have already arisen. 

“The Lords Sub-Committee on the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland wrote to the Foreign Secretary on 6 December 2022 asking what, if any, work was being taken by the Foreign Office to track and log these divergences.  To date there has been little clarity on how this is being handled, if at all. 

“This latest revelation is further evidence of the need to deal with the Protocol.  Obviously, the best way is through a negotiated outcome that provides lasting solutions and removes the Irish Sea Border.  However, the UK Government must be robust in defending equality of access to medicines for citizens in Northern Ireland.”