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Irish medicine supplies ‘remain strong despite Covid-19’

By Irish Pharmacist - 26th Mar 2020

Medicines for Ireland (MFI), the Irish pharmaceutical trade association and the supplier of the majority of medicine in Ireland to the HSE and patients directly, has stated that while experiencing an increase in demand, its members do not currently anticipate any issues with regard to the supply of medicines as a result of the Covid-19 virus.

Commenting, Chairperson of Medicines for Ireland Mr David Delaney said: “Having consulted with all MFI members, we are in a strong position to meet additional demands as a result of Covid-19. Our members have been working hard over the past number of years to ensure adequate stocks are in place as part of their Brexit planning and as a result, there is little evidence to suggest that Ireland is likely to face general medicines supply issues. Irish consumers can be reassured that additional stocks of medicines are routinely built into the Irish supply chain, which will allow us to meet any increase in demand.”

MFI, which comprises 10 member companies employing over 5,000 staff across Ireland, is continuing to work directly with the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA), community pharmacists, wholesalers, the Government, the Department of Health and other key stakeholders to address challenges arising from Covid-19, it said.

Mr Delaney added: “I commend the Department, the HPRA and our members on their solution-focused approach, which is significantly strengthening the stable supply of medicines to our friends, families and communities. I would like to congratulate the Government on its decision… to give critical pharmaceutical products customs ‘green-routing’ to facilitate uninterrupted importation and supply. Furthermore, we are very grateful to the thousands of staff employed by MFI members all over Ireland, who are working around the clock to ensure continuity in the supply of medicines during this period, ensuring consumer access as well as maintaining a strong pharmaceutical export economy.” 

He continued: “As an organisation, we will continue to work directly with the Government and all relevant State agencies to ensure that there is no disruption to supply of medicines. Because of the global nature of our industry, MFI has welcomed the co-ordinated approach agreed by European Union leaders for the procurement of medicines, medical devices and protective equipment in light of the growing number of Covid-19 cases around Europe.

“It is important to emphasise that all stakeholders need to act responsibly, particularly those who procure stock, and that they share contingency plans so MFI members can plan rather than react. For example, we are encouraging consumers to talk to their pharmacists and GPs and not to seek supplies of medicines over and above their normal requirements. Doing so will disrupt existing stock levels and hamper the supply of medicines for others.”

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