Brexit: Flu vaccine ‘could be airlifted into UK’

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Drugs company Sanofi has plans to fly supplies of flu vaccine into the UK if other transport routes are disrupted after the country leaves the EU.

Hugo Fry, the managing director of its UK arm, told BBC Radio 5 live’s Wake Up To Money that the flu vaccine was one it was not possible to stockpile.

“We prepare in different ways and have prepared many different routes into the UK,” he said.

“If we have to in the end, we will airlift it in.”

He added: “We are eating the cost of that but patients and citizens are our primary concern, so we’re quite happy to take that cost and make that planning.”

While Sanofi has plans to keep stockpiles of insulin and vaccines in place for 12 months, Mr Fry said this was not possible with the flu vaccine.

“You can’t stockpile it because it’s made at a particular time of the year and it’s only available to import in the month at the end of August/beginning of September,” he said.

Last August, Sanofi said it was increasing its stocks by four weeks to give it a 14-week supply of medicines.

Most of the French company’s supplies enter the UK through the Channel Tunnel and disruption to that route in 2005, when there were strikes in France, led to around four weeks of disruption.

Mr Fry added: “We’re doing everything possible to make sure that everyone will get their medicines and vaccines so that they can be reassured and they don’t have to worry about it.

He added that the day after Brexit happens, patients would be able to get their hands on all drugs that it was possible to stockpile.