Brexit ‘likely’ to delay delivery of drugs used to detect, treat cancer

The upcoming vote on whether the U.K. will leave the European Union has prompted the Royal College of Radiologists (RCR) to warn doctors of a potential delay in receiving drugs used to detect and treat cancer, the BBC reported.

Members of Parliament will vote on a Brexit withdrawal agreement by March 12, but if they are left with no withdrawal agreement radiopharmaceutical suppliers expect delivery times to be delayed, according to the news outlet. In response, the RCR has issued a five-page guidance document suggesting doctors lighten their workload in the first week following a no-deal Brexit.

"Of course, now there will inevitably be delays to treatment as a result of the Brexit process because we need to start booking our lists for the post-Brexit date,” Richard Graham, MD, a spokesperson for the RCR, told the BBC. "We will need to book clinics less heavily so that we've got more wriggle room if we don't have the radioisotopes in order to diagnose and treat the patients."

While the radiologists’ warning suggests it is too late to avoid disruption, a spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Care told the BBC the government has a plan in place for whatever happens.

"As a responsible government we have robust contingency plans in place so patients can continue to have access to medicines, including medical radioisotopes, whatever the EU Exit outcome,” according to the report.

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