UK restricts exports on some drugs to reduce shortages

LONDON — Britain’s government has restricted the export of 24 drugs as part of efforts to reduce shortages of some medicines, hormone replacement therapy drugs, contraceptives and adrenaline pens.

The restrictions announced Thursday will prevent wholesalers from taking advantage of short supplies and currency fluctuations to profit from selling medicines meant for U.K. patients to other countries for a higher price.

Though not directly linked to Brexit, the decision is important because it sets a precedent on addressing supply questions as the country moves closer to its Oct. 31 departure from the European Union.

Dr. Rick Greville of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry says the decision to take precautionary measures means that medicine stockpiles built over previous months “are better protected” and available for the patients for whom they were intended.

The Associated Press