Brexit and diabetes

In a note to their local groups, Diabetes UK has outlined the work they are doing to ensure the availability of insulin and diabetes medications and devices in the event of a no-deal. Here is a summary.

As you will know, in April the UK Government agreed a further extension of the Article 50 period with the EU until 31 October 2019. While the UK Government says that leaving the EU with a deal remains its priority, there remains a high degree of uncertainty about what will happen on 31 October. The UK Government has overall responsibility for EU exit contingency planning and for customs entry and control. We have been in regular contact with the Department of Health and Social Care for a number of months to ensure that the safety of people with diabetes is not compromised during this time, and that uninterrupted supplies of insulin and other medications are maintained.

Two of the main insulin manufacturers who supply insulin to people in the UK (Novo Nordisk and Sanofi) have confirmed they have increased their insulin stock levels, from the normal six weeks stock holding to 16 weeks, to ensure no disruption to supply in the immediate aftermath of a no-deal. We do not believe there is any reason to be concerned about medication shortages at this time. 

Diabetes UK continues to liaise closely with the UK government’s Department of Health and Social Care, and we will of course continue to seek assurances that people living with diabetes will receive their essential medication in the event of a no-deal. 

We will keep you updated with any further information that we receive and in the meantime please do read, and feel free to refer others to Diabetes UK’s Brexit blog for all the latest. The blog will be updated with any further information as we receive it. Read our Brexit blog

If you or anyone else has any other questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact your local Diabetes UK office, or get in touch with our Helpline on 0345 123 2399, or by emailing