PAGB responds to EU announcement on medicine supplies to Northern Ireland

Published on: 17 December 2021


Commenting on the EU’s announcement that it will revise its pharmaceutical legislation to help safeguard medicine supplies in Northern Ireland following the UK’s exit from the EU, Michelle Riddalls, CEO of PAGB, the consumer healthcare association, said: “We welcome this updated proposal from the EU, on behalf of our member companies in the consumer healthcare industry and the many people in Northern Ireland who rely on over-the-counter products to care for themselves and their families.

“We also welcome the decision to extend until the end of 2022 – or until new legislation is introduced – the ‘grace period’ before any new arrangements come into force in relation to medicine supplies in Northern Ireland.

“This is a move we have argued for repeatedly, in the absence of a negotiated settlement, and one which should lift the immediate threat of any significant interruption to medicine supplies in Northern Ireland as we move into the new year.

“We have been very clear about the need to end the long-standing uncertainty caused by the UK’s EU exit and the Northern Ireland Protocol on companies supplying medicines to Northern Ireland from other parts of the UK.

“We will of course need to look carefully at the details in the EU proposals but we are hopeful that the suggested changes may address the key concerns we have voiced – for example, around licensing arrangements and import requirements for over-the-counter medicines in Northern Ireland – which I raised in my evidence to the House of Lords Sub-Committee on the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland in October.

“We welcome the assurance from Lord Frost that he and his team will look positively at the EU’s proposals. We will share with his team at DHSC PAGB’s own expert analysis of the impact of the EU’s planned changes, as we have done throughout the negotiating process.”


PAGB responds to EU announcement on medicine supplies to Northern Ireland