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Stockpiling Medicine Ahead of Brexit? Ireland’s Deputy Prime Minister Says Please Don’t

Irish residents do not need to stockpile medicine, the country’s deputy prime minister, Simon Coveney told RTE radio.

While the U.K. supplies a lot of Ireland’s medicines, the country has eight-to-12 weeks’ worth of medicines on hand, Coveney said. It is also working to ensure continued supplies via its fellow EU countries after the planned withdrawal of the U.K. from the EU on March 29th. If the U.K. leaves without trade and regulatory deals covering pharmaceutical products, Ireland and the U.K. would no longer be able to trade medicines.

“There aren’t any medicines that are on any kind of risk list in terms of not being supplied after the end of March, but we will continue to monitor that very closely to make sure there is no delay in supply,” Coveney said.

He also warned that “stockpiling in itself sometimes causes problems with supply.”

Britain’s Health Minister for Brexit Stephen Hammond has also warned against stockpiling medicine: “[I]f everyone does what they are supposed to, we are confident the supply of medicines will continue uninterrupted.”

Just in case, however, Hammond is stockpiling body bags. No kidding.

Coveney, the Irish deputy prime minister, added that even with all the preparation, a no-deal Brexit will be difficult for Ireland: “I wouldn’t like to give the impression that we could easily manage a no-deal Brexit…It would put huge strain on the Irish economy.”