Health bosses warned no-deal Brexit could hit supplies of medicines
Pharma giant Johnson and Johnson (J&J), which employs 2,200 in the Republic of Ireland, has urged the Health Services Executive to ensure that its suppliers are not overly reliant on distribution centres in the United Kingdom in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
Dr Mark Lloyd Davies, a senior J&J director for government affairs and policy in the EMEA region, said that the security of supply chains, including the land bridge between the UK and mainland Europe, was critical to patient safety, an issue which had often been overlooked.
Lloyd Davies, who predicted there would be a "five-year curve of pain" to recover from Brexit, was speaking at Racing Towards a Trillion: the Future of US-Irish business.
The conference, hosted by the US Embassy in Ireland, was attended by up to 500 business executives, including Ardagh chairman Paul Coulson.
"Has the HSE mapped out its distribution centres? said Lloyd Davies.
"Health systems throughout Europe must ensure they are not over-reliant on a supplier with European distribution centres in the UK as a no-deal scenario could jeopardise increases in stock".
Lloyd Davies said that in the aftermath of the Manchester Arena bombing last year, J&J were able to supply 500 trauma packs at short notice to the UK, adding that increasing stock could be jeopardised in the event of a hard Brexit owing to increased customs and regulatory checks.
The J&J director urged Irish businesses to prepare as if there would be a no-deal Brexit.
"According to our own assessment, it could be 2025 that is the most difficult year for our businesses, said Lloyd Davies.
"This is real. Companies are looking at prolonged pain".
Sunday Indo Business