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Neuroendocrine Cancer Community

Brexit: Warning over cancer treatment supplies after no deal

Aug 7, 2019

Senior doctors have called for ”urgent clarification” of plans to supply cancer treatments in the event of a no-deal Brexit, BBC Newsnight has learned.

In a letter to the prime minister, seen by Newsnight, they say a “dry run” of emergency deliveries earlier this year revealed problems in the system.

About one million patients in the UK receive medical radioisotopes for diagnosis or therapy each year.

The Department of Health said “action is being taken to safeguard supplies”.

Radioisotopes are radioactive atoms that can be used against cancer and are a key component of some types of scan.

Their supply chains operate on tight schedules, as the nuclear materials quickly decay and become unusable. And stockpiling supplies in advance of a potential no deal, as planned for some other medicines, is impossible.

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