Until the signing of the new trade deal in December 2020, speculation was high on the adverse impact of a no-deal Brexit on the UK healthcare.

GlobalData has conducted a poll to assess the anticipated time for the UK to stabilise its healthcare industry post Brexit in the case of no-deal Brexit.

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Analysis of the results shows that that it will take more than three years for the UK healthcare sector to stabilise, as opined by a majority 56% of the respondents. While 35% of the respondents opined that it will take more than five years to stabilise, 21% opined that it will take three years to less than five years.

Timeframe to stabilise the UK’s healthcare industry post Brexit

Further, 24% of the respondents opined that the UK healthcare industry will take less than one year to stabilise and the remaining 20% opined that it will take one year to less than three years.

The analysis is based on 412 responses received from the readers of Pharmaceutical Technology, a Verdict network site, between 01 September 2020 and 04 January 2021.

No-deal Brexit and the UK healthcare sector

The multiple potential outcomes of a no-deal Brexit made it extremely difficult to forecast how long it would take for the healthcare industry to stabilise, according to GlobalData. The UK trades approximately 40% of its exports to the EU countries, a majority of which comprise healthcare-associated industries.

A no-deal Brexit, therefore, would have adversely impacted the country’s exports as well as imports, adds GlobalData. Staffing shortages at the National Health Service (NHS), especially under the current pandemic situation, and shortages and price rise of vital medicines were some of the immediate implications predicted by The King’s Fund, an independent charitable organisation.

The uncertainties led companies including AstraZeneca and GlaxoSmithKline, and patients to stockpile medications, especially those imported. Despite stockpiling and plans to create new supply routes, a no-deal Brexit could have created significant regulatory hurdles for vital supplies, adds The King’s Fund.