UK RESTRICTS COVID MEDICINE EXPORTS

HIGHLIGHTS

  • UK government has restricted the export of COVID medicine.
  • UK has complete lockdown due to COVID-19.

With coronavirus rising in the United Kingdom (UK), the whole country has gone into a complete lockdown once again. The government in UK has placed a series of export restrictions last year on around 100 medicines that could be used for treating COVID-19 patients. Although Prime Minister (PM) Boris Johnson criticized other countries for limiting the exports of medicines and vaccines, his government is doing the same in UK. Talking to media, PM Johnson criticized the European Union (EU) for considering putting restrictions on the export of coronavirus vaccines, saying that such curbs were “nonsensical.”

European Commission wants AstraZeneca increase the supply of their medicines to EU. At the moment, in the opinion of Commission, AstraZeneca appears to be unable to meet target. The Commission is now considering a plan to mandate that companies must inform Brussels before they send any shipments of vaccine out of the EU. European Commission also criticized PM Johnson trying to ensure the use of medicines in UK only in UK.

AstraZeneca says that it is making its “best effort” to get the EU its share of doses but manufacturing problems are slowing them down. Supplies of the vaccine in the UK have been unaffected so far. Denouncing any curbs on the movement of vaccines and other medicines, PM Johnson said that the supply of vaccines should be free from border restrictions. Yet, he hit out at the EU for weighing export controls on vaccines.

The British government has a list of 174 medicines that are currently banned from export from the UK. The government says that those medicines “are needed for UK patients.” Additions to this list in 2020 included around 100 medicines that have been suggested as possible treatments for COVID-19 patients. Many of these medicines are being used to alleviate symptoms of COVID-19 patients in intensive care units.