It has been reported in the news that pharmacists are warning of a 'surge' in demand for, and a shortage of, common medicines.

Commenting on the shortage of common medicines Professor Emel Aktas, Professor of Supply Chain Analytics at Cranfield School of Management, said:

“From our previous work, we observe supply chain risk changing across different sectors. Although our analysis does not specifically focus on the pharmaceutical sector, anecdotal evidence suggests companies, especially in the pharma sector, are taking actions to minimise the risk to their supply chains in general and are preparing for the consequences of Brexit.

“These actions involve stockpiling both raw materials and finished product, moving facilities across Europe and setting up new warehouses in the UK. The availability of storage space is also decreasing, and storage space providers are asking manufacturers to commit for six months or a year when a new outsourcing contract is being put in place. Making such commitments in an uncertain environment can prove difficult and costly.”

Commenting on the effect of Brexit on supply chains, Dr Heather Skipworth, Senior Lecturer in Logistics and Supply Chain Management at Cranfield School of Management, said:

“Fears over Brexit appear to be increasing businesses’ perception of the risks in their supply chain, despite evidence suggesting many have taken steps to ready themselves for a post-Brexit environment. As the March 2019 deadline approaches, it appears the uncertainty around the tariffs, barriers and trade agreements that will impact supply chain relationships is more and more in the forefront of businesses’ minds.”

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