Ulster Unionist Party leader, Doug Beattie MC MLA alongside East Antrim UUP MLA Roy Beggs, has stated that the problems created for the supply of medicines to Northern Ireland should be addressed by their immediate removal from the Protocol.
Doug Beattie MC MLA said:
“It has become patently obvious that EU proposals to fix the debacle created by the Protocol over the supply of medicines to Northern Ireland are not good enough. Time is running out fast and it needs fixed in double quick time.
“The best way round this is to immediately implement the UK Government’s proposal in its Command Paper and remove medicines from the Protocol completely.
“The British Generic Manufacturers Association has stated that the EU’s plan to fix the problems won’t work. Pharmaceutical manufacturers in the Republic of Ireland say that the Protocol could destabilise the supply of medicines there and yet the EU still seem determined to plough on at a snail`s pace with proposals which the pharmaceutical industry have warned them just won’t work.
“Northern Ireland can’t wait any longer. I would appeal to the EU to smooth the path for the immediate removal of medicines from the Protocol. If they refuse, then the UK Government has unequivocal grounds to take action and activate Article 16. Health should be prioritised over EU rules, the Protocol and political stubbornness.
“I have raised this issue surrounding medicines with the EU and the UK Government as well as other political leaders over the last week as we continue to look for solutions to the Protocol.”
East Antrim UUP Roy Beggs MLA, a Deputy Speaker at Stormont added;
“How can medicines with prescriptions written from GP’s and issued by pharmacists threaten the EU single market. Medicine supplies to the NI population are at risk. Many generic medicine suppliers have indicated that they will discontinue supplies rather than attempt to follow the NI Protocol. Clearly this unreasonable Protocol must go. Parties such as SF, SDLP and Alliance must explain why they want the full implementation of the NI protocol even though it will harm their constituents and add considerable extra costs to the NI Health service.”