The biggest insulin supplier in the UK is stockpiling four months’ worth of insulin in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
Novo Nordisk, based in Denmark, is acting to ensure people with diabetes are not left without vital medications like insulin when Britain leaves the European Union on 29 March 2019.
The move follows concerns made by health bosses that a no-deal Brexit would affect insulin supply into the UK.
Ensuring secure access of insulin into the UK will be essential for people with type 1 diabetes in the event of a no-deal Brexit, as well as for people with insulin-treated type 2 diabetes.
The government announced last month that it had advised companies to stockpile six weeks of medication in the event that no deal is reached.
Novo Nordisk supplies just over half of the UK’s insulin, including NovoRapid and Levemir, and has announced its commitment to increase stock beyond these minimums.
The company’s 16-week stockpiling will double its seven-week reserves. It aims to have this in place from January.
“Our first commitment is to ensure that patients treated with our medicines remain unaffected in the event of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit,” said Pinder Sahota, corporate vice president of Novo Nordisk UK.
“Our decision to increase stock is in line with the technical notices and guidance published by the government to industry.”
The government’s trade deal strategy (known as the Chequers deal) proposed by Prime Minister Theresa May, who has type 1 diabetes, has yet to be agreed on by parliament and the EU.
If a transition arrangement has not been agreed by March then the European Medicines Agency will consider the UK a “third country” in the event of a no-deal. This would class the UK as being outside the European Union and European Economic Area, and no longer part of the Single Market, which could affect customs control and therefore the passage of insulin into the UK.
French insulin manufacturer Sanofi has also pledged to hold more than the recommended six weeks of medication, increasing its reserves by a third to ensure a 14-week stockpile.

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