Brexit and diabetes – how could Brexit affect people with diabetes?

UPDATE: 31/01/2020

If you’re living with or affected by diabetes, we know you might be worried about how Brexit might affect things like your diabetes medicines, particularly insulin.

In this blog, we have previously covered the potential impact of a no-deal Brexit.

However, following the general election in December 2019, the Withdrawal Agreement Bill was introduced to Parliament.

The withdrawal agreement has received royal assent, and has now been approved by the European Parliament. As a result, we formally leave the EU on the 31 January.

Our departure from the EU marks the start of the ‘implementation period’, which will last up to 12 months. During this period the UK will be negotiating permanent trading arrangements with the UK, which means that there will be no changes in rules and customs procedures.

If these arrangements cannot be secured by the end of 2020, the default position would be a no-deal Brexit.

We will continue to have discussions with the government during the 2020 implementation period. We will update you as events develop during the implementation period that are relevant to diabetes care and treatment.

The DHSC does not anticipate any medicines supply issues related to us leaving the EU. If you do experience problems accessing your medicines or devices as usual you can contact the Diabetes UK Helpline.

You can find all of the EU Exit-related publications from the DHSC at GOV.UK

What impact will there be on insulin supplies specifically?

During the implementation period, the UK will continue to stay aligned to EU law, and existing regulatory and customs procedures will remain in place. The government expect supplies, including medicines and medical goods, will continue to flow as usual.

What about my diabetes tech?

Again, during the implementation period, the UK will continue to stay aligned to EU law, and existing regulatory and customs procedures will remain in place. The government expect supplies, including technologies, will continue to flow as usual.

What if I’m travelling out of the UK after Brexit?

If you are a UK national travelling to the EEA or Switzerland , you can continue to access healthcare as you do now until at least the end of the implementation period at the end of December 2020.

The latest information for UK nationals travelling to the EEA is available on gov.uk

If you have an EHIC, this will be valid until the end of the implementation period.

The government always advises UK citizens to take out comprehensive travel insurance when going overseas, to both EU and non-EU destinations. They say you should make sure your insurance has the necessary healthcare cover to ensure you can get any treatment you might need, for example if you have any pre-existing conditions such as diabetes.

Do you have more questions or concerns?

If you would like to discuss any questions or concerns, call us on 0345 123 2399. Our lines are open 9am to 6pm Monday to Friday.

We want this blog to be as useful a resource as possible, so please let us know your questions using our online form. We will do our best to find answers to them through our contact with the government.

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