September 24, 2018 / 2:12 PM / in 3 months

Despite Brexit planning, EMA fears disruption for 39 medicines

FILE PHOTO: The headquarters of the European Medicines Agency (EMA), is seen in London, Britain, April 25, 2017. REUTERS/Hannah McKay/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - Despite actions taken by companies to prepare for Brexit, there is still a risk of serious supply disruptions for 39 medicines as a result of Britain’s departure from the European Union, the bloc’s drugs regulator said on Monday.

While that is an improvement on the situation in July, when the European Medicines Agency warned about supply problems for 108 products, the watchdog said companies responsible for the remaining drugs needed to “step up their planning now”.

Of the outstanding products, 25 are human medicines and 14 are veterinary.

More than 2,600 drugs have some stage of manufacture in Britain and 45 million patient packs are supplied from the United Kingdom to other European countries each month, while another 37 million flow in the opposite direction, industry figures show.

To ensure that EU drug marketing authorisations remain valid after Brexit, companies are having to adapt their supply chains and legal arrangements to have certain operations based in an EU member state.

Reporting by Ben Hirschler; Editing by Alexander Smith

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