Roche in the UK has been preparing for all possible Brexit scenarios, including a ‘no-deal’ scenario, since the referendum in 2016. Our goal, regardless of the current uncertainty, is to mitigate any potential disruption to our customers and patients, including maintaining our strong supply chain and extensive clinical trials activity, and providing support to employees where necessary. We have implemented a series of measures to ensure as much as possible that people in the UK and mainland Europe continue to have access to medicines, diagnostics products and innovation.
For our pharmaceutical business, we hold strong stock levels across all products, in some cases up to six months' worth, as a matter of course. In planning for Brexit, we have determined the level of inventory that is required on an individual product basis, taking into account the UK Government’s recommendations as part of the Medicines Supply Contingency Planning Programme. Consequently we continue to hold higher stock levels of our medicines than normal. We also have preparations in place to increase stocks further in readiness for the next potential exit date of 31 October 2019, should the UK leave the EU without a deal. On top of this, we are also using alternative ports for importing stock beyond the traditional Calais-Dover route.
We will watch developments closely and will continue working in partnership with the UK Government to ensure a continued flow of medicines into the country and also to assess when it would be appropriate to reduce our stock to normal levels.
For our diagnostics business and diabetes care, we have been working closely with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) on their industry working groups to ensure we are adequately prepared. As a result, we are holding six weeks of diagnostics products; reagents, consumables and spare parts as well as blood glucose meters and strips, insulin pumps and associated accessories and consumables; to help to ensure an uninterrupted supply chain in the event of any short-term disruption at our borders.
Additionally, the UK Government has advised that, for a time-limited period, the UK will continue to recognise CE marking on medical devices and will comply with all key elements of the Medical Devices Regulation (MDR) and the In Vitro Diagnostics Regulations (IVDR), which will apply in the EU from May 2020 and 2022 respectively. This ensures ongoing regulatory compliance of our diagnostic products.