Cook Medical, which employs more than 850 people in Limerick, has called on the British Government and the EU to push for an extension of the UK’s Brexit transition agreement for medical devices until at least 2025.
Extending the post-Brexit transition period would provide the medtech and other highly regulated industries with additional time to meet new UK regulatory arrangements and protect supply chain integrity, as well as ensuring patients and customers do not experience delays in product delivery.
“Patient need and wellbeing isn’t at the forefront of conversations about Brexit trade restrictions. The process to acquire regulatory approval for these complex, often life-saving products is intentionally rigorous to protect patients,” said Emmet Devereux, director of government and regulatory affairs EMEA at Cook Medical.
“It will be extremely difficult for medtech companies to ensure that their products meet any new UK regulatory requirements or frameworks by the end of 2020, as so much remains uncertain and undecided.” Mr Devereux continued: “Cook Medical, and every other medtech company that has traded without restriction in the UK and the rest of Europe, will have to contend with different rules for importing and exporting components and products, and rework existing supply chains under Brexit.
“We strongly believe that London and Brussels should push this transition date to 2025, or agree to an exemption for medical devices, so that the medtech industry can ensure its operations and supply chains remain uninterrupted, and that its patients remain unaffected.”
Employing over 38,000 people in Ireland, the medtech industry generates approximately 10 percent of all Irish exports, worth €12.6 billion to the economy. A third of the world’s contact lenses and a quarter of its diabetes injection devices are manufactured in Ireland. Medtech is recognised as one of Ireland’s emerging global industries.