Contracts awarded to deliver urgent medicines after Brexit

Contracts awarded to deliver urgent medicines after Brexit

The Government has awarded contracts to deliver urgent medicines after Brexit. Three companies have been awarded the contracts for express freight service to deliver medicines and medical products within 24 to 48 hours if there’s a no-deal Brexit.

Contracts have been awarded to UPS, DFDS and Biocair for the Department of Health and Social Care’s express freight service. The new service will help to ensure that patients and care providers have access to medicines and medical products after Brexit.

The £25m service was first announced by Health Secretary Matt Hancock in August.

It means that vital medicines and medical products can be transported from the location they are produced to the point they are needed within 24 to 48 hours, to meet any urgent needs that might arise.

The service provides access to specialised express logistics networks that can move the wide range of medicines, devices and products required for the delivery of safe, high-quality care for patients across the UK.

The NHS will have access to:

  • next-day delivery on small consignments, including temperature-controlled or hazardous products
  • 48-hour delivery for larger loads
  • specialist services, including hand-delivered courier services, if needed.

The three providers have extensive experience of operating logistics networks serving Europe and the UK using a mixture of air and road transport to support the express movement of products.

The express freight service will support existing plans already in place, including:

  • building buffer stocks of medicines and medical products
  • changing or clarifying regulatory requirements so that companies can continue to sell their products in the UK if we leave the EU without a deal
  • strengthening the process and resources used to deal with shortages
  • procurement of additional warehouse capacity
  • supporting companies to improve the readiness of their logistics and supply chains to meet the new customs and border requirements for both import and export.

As an extra level of cover, the department has also increased its capacity to manage any potential disruption to supply that might arise by setting up a dedicated National Supply Disruption Response unit to support the health and social care sector.