Letter: No Confidence in Supply of Medicines Post Brexit

Dear Orkney News,

envelopeRe my recent post highlighting my grave concerns (Letters: Lack of Information Post Brexit is Nightmare for Kidney Transplant Patients) here’s a copy of the letter forwarded to me from MSP Maree Todd’s office being a reply from the Cabinet secretary for Health and Sport.

It does not instill confidence at insofar as, the letter appears the Scottish Government seem to leave everything to the UK Gov to sort out .

The letter is as follows –

” Dear Maree,
Thank you for your email of the 23rd July on behalf of your constituent Mr Malcolm Morrison about access to medicines after brexit.

Mr Morrison very reasonably raises questions about the supply of medicines. ( and also their licensing , safety and efficacy )

This is currently reserved to the UK Government, the Scottish Government is working closely with the UK Department of Health and Social Care , and the NHS and the pharmaceutical industry to seek to ensure that the requirements of Scottish patients are fully addressed during the period when the UK is expected to leave the EU.

The aim of all UK administrations is to seek to ensure that medicines are supplied to pharmacies as normal, enabling patients like Mr Morrison to receive and use prescribed medicines in the way they do now. In this , it is of course important for there to be clarity around future regulatory arrangements, tariffs, and customs and border controls, and I have recently written to the UK Secretary of State, Matt Hancock to ask him to make the future position on these matters clear as soon as possible.

We will continue to hold regular discussions with the UK Government on an array of issues relating to Brexit and will do all we can to protect Scotland’s interests and play an active role in positively influencing the outcomes on behalf of NHS patients in Scotland. I hope that this information is helpful when responding to Mr Morrison.

Best wishes

Jeane Freeman. “

As you can see it does not go far enough to ensure clarity and assurance that the Scottish Gov have any contingencies in place whatsoever other than lip service to the UK administrations .

Yours, Malcolm Morrison, Inverness – shire

Ed’s Note – The UK is set to leave the EU on March 29th 2019 – less than 6 months from now

22 replies »

  1. Like Malcolm I to am concerned about medical supplies post Brexit but given that ‘control of medicines and medical supplies like radioactive isotopes is a reserved matter our Health Minister’s hand are well and truly tied behind her back. Malcolm must also have noticed the total shambles that the Tories are making of negotiations, they’ve had over two years since the EU Referendum was first muted but in all that time they have singularly failed to produce a single plausible plan. Also over the past 18 months the Wastemonster Government has failed to consult the Devolved administrations in Wales and Scotland but what can we expect from a Government run by the DUP who are pulling all May’s strings which she meekly accepts just so that she can hold on by her finger-tips.

    • Whilst i agree Charles it is sheer reckless stupidity that no contingency plans are put in place I feel that our SNP led pseudo parly are grossly letting down the citizens of Scotland .no can argue that the tories are ultimately responsible for this shambles however, the responsibility equally is with the SNP led Parly to ensure that, the welbieng of all citizens of Scotland and if they continue this path there will not just be financial repercussions to contend with . talk is cheap life is priceless .

      • Malcolm, when every request for consultation or information has been flatly turned down by Wastemonster, goons. How do you suggest the the Scottish Government by-pass Wastemonster short of declaring UDI? Which incidentally I would fully support but being realistic we are in this position because a number of voters mainly the over 65’s, our group I believe, fell for the lies put out about their pensions and there was also the lie over EU Membership, vote ‘YES’ and wave bye, bye to the EU. Need I go on but there is one thing that the Scottish Government can’t do and that is ‘work b****y miracles’.

      • Your talk about an SNP led pseudo Parly is interesting language. Maybe with that statement you recognise that the Scottish Government has very limited powers in this area, however you also seem to be saying that the SNP should be doing more. Bit of a contradiction there Malcolm. But on the basis that you’ve given this problem some thought, could you maybe enlighten us to how an SNP Government in a pseudo Parly could best move forward on this issue.

  2. Charles , it’s not as if the Parly didnt know about brexit this why i call them a pseudo parly only interest is themselves . sitting on their hands for far too long .

    • Sorry Malcolm, a ‘RETAINED POWER’ is a ‘RETAINED POWER’ no ifs no buts. But perhaps you could suggest how the Scottish Government circumvents this? Now personally as I said I’m all for walking out of Wastemonster and doing an Iain Smith and declaring UDI and short of the Tories realising that they need to devolve more, as was promised in the now INFAMOUS ‘VOW’ and also contained in the SMITH COMMISSION REPORT, which incidentally had been shredded even before it crossed the Border after its signing in Edinburgh. Which is also what happened to another agreement on its way south 311 years ago!!!

      • Yes Charles I agree with your comments. I just get the feeling that the issues raised by MM and supported by Bernie Bell are nothing more than an SNP baaad diatribe, neither are giving any clues as to how they feel the SNP administration or the Parliament should proceed. I could maybe suggest that independence is the only solution to effectively give the Scottish Government the powers to work effectively in this critical area.

  3. Ed’s comment – I am going to interject here and just point out that the letter writer is a kidney transplant patient. We have had similar serious worries expressed to us by others who rely on medications to stay alive – it is a life and death situation for them. That is why the complete lack of certainty is so concerning for them. It is, unsurprisingly, a highly emotive issue.

    • Totally understand the concerns many people have, I also have my own concerns, but I don’t think blaming the Scottish government for the mess that Westminster a and 51% of the electorate has got us into is of any help. The SNP, the Scottish Parliament and the majority of the Scottish people who voted were opposed to Brexit and the subsequent chaos and confusion it has caused. The SNP has repeatedly tried to engage with the Government in Westminster with constructive thoughts, but been repeatedly rebuffed by the Tories. I’m concerned about my own medication, but I totally fail to see how remarks like Yadder, yadder, yadder add anything to the debate. Many of us are very concerned about medical supplies, but no matter how people wish to spin it, this is not the fault of the SNP, I believe they are doing everything in their power to improve the situation and we should stand solidly behind them in their attempts.

    • Ian, far from it being Diatribe or snp baad its there in black and white . i wont be a party protectorate member for anyone i always question.

    • Er………….and I’d like to interject that I’m not necessarily a supporter of the SNP – you’re making assumptions, Iain. I’ll support the SNP, if and when they show themselves to be the best party to lead Scotland – meanwhile – I am confused, and find it very hard to know who to vote for. However – I do know flannel when I see it, and, to me, that letter is the usual flannel – empty words. Flannel.
      Would I make a better job of it? Very probably not, as I have a short-fuse temper and a low level of acceptance of bull. I didn’t go into politics – so, it’s not my hob – I never claimed to be able to do that job. It is, however, their job.
      And, finally, one thing we do agree on – I see Scottish independence as the only way for Scotland to be able to make it’s own decisions and strike it’s own deals about these issues.
      Politics – Jeeeeez. Politics comes in the door – balanced discussion goes out the window.

    • Thank you Ed, can I just say here that I’m currently a Type 2 Diabetic and where I’ve been considering whether or not to go on to Insulin, a decision I’m deferring until the situation becomes clearer. I know that the Scottish Government is doing as much as is possible, and probably more than it should, under what is a ‘RESERVED MATTER’.

      And to Iain MacEchern I wholeheartedly agree, INDEPENDENCE is the best solution and there are many ‘NO’ voters from 2014 who now regret being taken in by all the lies, ‘VOWS’ etc.

    • Iain, mitigation fair enough but until INDEPENDENCE there is only so much that the current devolution settlement permits. I’m ending my contributions to this string as I can add no more. Be assured however that I’ll continue supporting the SNP Government and SNP for it’s all that lies between Scotland and another 100 yrs of Wastemonster misrule or until the head-cases lose all patience and then God forbid.

      I wish you all the best and pray that you continue to get your life-saving medicines, GOOD LUCK.

  4. And what are my politics? Neither particularly for, nor against the SNP – “And I’ll give my consent, To any government, That does not deny a man a living wage.”

    Between the Wars
    Billy Bragg

    I was a miner
    I was a docker
    I was a railway man
    Between the wars
    I raised a family
    In times of austerity
    With sweat at the foundry
    Between the wars

    I paid the union and as times got harder
    I looked to the government to help the working man
    And they brought prosperity down at the armory
    We’re arming for peace, me boys
    Between the wars

    I kept the faith and I kept voting
    Not for the iron fist but for the helping hand
    For theirs is a land with a wall around it
    And mine is a faith in my fellow man
    Theirs is a land of hope and glory
    Mine is the green field and the factory floor
    Theirs are the skies all dark with bombers
    And mine is the peace we know
    Between the wars

    Call up the craftsmen
    Bring me the draftsmen
    Build me a path from cradle to grave
    And I’ll give my consent
    To any government
    That does not deny a man a living wage

    Go find the young men never to fight again
    Bring up the banners from the days gone by
    Sweet moderation
    Heart of this nation
    Desert us not, we are
    Between the wars

    Songwriters: Billy Bragg

    Between the Wars lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group

  5. I’m going to dis-entangle myself from this, now, but I want to say to Malcolm Morrison – please try not to get too despondent about it. Do what you can – I do realise how hard it is to pester The Powers That Be, when you are not strong, in yourself. Just do what you can, whilst trying not to let it add to your problems, and potentially make you worse. The trouble is, if you already have health problems, you tend to feel un-well and not strong anyway – then, it’s even harder to keep up the energy to remind yourself to try to face how the world is – how life can be. Uncertainties are particularly hard to face – you need to have at least some idea of the framework that you’re trying to work in. I’m not taking any medication – it was too much, carelessly prescribed, medication that left me as I am, but…..I can fully sympathise with one who is not strong, and who has uncertainties to face. My ‘scaffolding’ is….my husband Mike, simple as that. Many need the knowledge of the presence of medication, or other form of certainty, as scaffolding, as well as the purely physical effects of the medication.
    Try to not give in – we don’t know what might happen between now and March. That’s how I see it. But then, despite everything, I have this strange tendency to optimism
    What a world we’re living in – any of those high up politicians who may need medication/treatment, will be able to afford to get them, anyway. As I keep on saying “Do as you would be done by”. I’ll stop now – I’m supposed to be resting today – but life, doesn’t ‘rest’, does it?
    I hope that some of this is of help to you, Malcolm – and that you know that you have support from people who sympathise, or even empathise, with your situation.

  6. Almost everybody in Scotland, and I would guess even many of those that voted for Brexit, are concerned about the continuing supplies of medication, which in the past maybe we have all taken for granted. You suggest the Scot Govt could mitigate. This of course might be an option, however it would need to be funded, so where do we get the money from. I believe there are three options, 1. The. Government could increase taxes, 2. It could use money that was earmarked for other areas, or 3. It could charge for prescriptions. I don’t particularly like any of these options, and I’m sure the public and government feel the same way. But maybe this is the trap Westminster has set, whatever option the SNP choose they will be open to criticism. It would be nice to hear if anybody has thought of a solution to this problem.

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