Due to the Northern Ireland protocol, NI stays within the EU’s pharmaceutical regulatory system regardless of Brexit. However, most of NI’s medicines come from the UK, which isn’t. The EU has now been accused of patting itself on the again for making the move to permit Britain to freely transport medicines to certainly one of its member international locations.
The NI protocol implies that items can move freely between the Republic of Ireland and NI, however items arriving into the nation from the remainder of the UK are topic to controls and checks to make sure they adjust to EU requirements.
A “grace period” launched after Brexit meant that medicines would nonetheless have the ability to be despatched to NI with out having to bear further EU checks.
The UK indefinitely prolonged this era, which was on account of expire in January 2021.
However, the looming risk of import controls on NI was already having an affect on the provision of medication, with some corporations notifying Stormont’s Department of Health that they supposed to cease supplying some medicines to Northern Ireland on the finish of the grace interval.
By the top of August 2021, the well being division had been notified that 910 medicines have been on account of be withdrawn, with an extra 2,400 in danger.
Vice-president of the European Commission Maros Šefčovič took to Twitter to reward the EU’s group for the pace of the change.
He stated: “During my visit to Northern Ireland last autumn, I promised to do whatever it takes to ensure the continued supply of medicines to Northern Ireland.
“We now have a lasting solution, which was delivered in record time.”
However, many weren’t so impressed with the EU’s announcement, arguing the UK was compelled to behave to guard NI medication with the extension of the grace interval, solely for the EU to reward themselves as soon as their laws caught up.
READ MORE: Ukraine LIVE: Panicked Putin defends ‘fashionable’ weapons [REVEAL]
Conservative activist Aaron Rankin additional expressed frustration with the EU, stating: “This display from Brussels is a classic of the genre, patting yourself on the back for doing something utterly meaningless”.
In a press release, the EU Council stated that UK authorities “should be able to supply those medicinal products to patients in Northern Ireland temporarily and until a marketing authorisation is granted or refused in the Union”.
The change is everlasting for Northern Ireland.
However, within the case of Cyprus, Ireland and Malta, all of which import massive quantities of UK medicines, the suspension will run for three years, to permit for time for new provide chains to be shaped.