In a letter to the EU Commission, the Christian Democrat (CDU) politician said that “tens of thousands” of medical items could become unavailable if Britain doesn’t secure a deal before leaving, German newspaper Handelsblatt reported Thursday.
His concerns are down to medical items, which have been approved in the UK, becoming invalid if no withdrawal agreement is struck before Britain leaves the bloc. Spahn said there could be shortages as early as next month.
The Minister called on the Commission and other EU member states to agree on a joint crisis plan with “practical procedures” to deal with different scenarios. Among the products that could become unavailable are cardiac pacemakers, blood sampling products and medical implants.
Spahn said that in the event of a disorderly or unregulated Brexit “it is reasonable to assume that tens of thousands of medical products” would lose their formal market access in the EU-27 “and would no longer be available on the European market”.
The Health Minister said he was particularly concerned about possible shortages in vitro diagnostics, which are devices used to perform tests on blood, urine and tissue samples.
“I fear that the provision of blood products to patients in Germany could be at risk from the middle of April 2019,” he warned in the letter.
No-deal Brexit could cause certificates to become invalid
Several manufacturers of medical products have approved their products in the UK. A Brexit without an agreement, however, would make the certificates issued by British institutes invalid. Affected products would then no longer be allowed to be placed on the market in Germany and the other EU states.
At the beginning of March, the German government had drawn attention to concerns over medical products shortages.
European pharmaceutical leaders also called on EU member states to do more to safeguard the supply of medicines post-Brexit earlier this month.
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