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 Full text 
Wednesday, 18 September 2019 - Strasbourg Revised edition

Fight against cancer (topical debate)

  David Bull (NI). – Madam President, being given a diagnosis of cancer is a truly life—changing event. It creates a climate of fear and uncertainty. I know that as a medical doctor and because my father, Richard, died of prostate cancer. However, thankfully due to earlier diagnosis, prompt intervention, dedicated specialists and advances in pharmaceutical medicines, the prognosis for many has now improved.

However, opportunists have purposely created a climate of fear in the United Kingdom. Patients are now being told that if Britain leaves without a deal, then there will be a significant shortage of cancer medicines, which will profoundly affect their clinical outcomes. So it is vital that we work together to reassure people that this is not the case. In my capacity as a medical doctor, I have spoken to people in the pharmaceutical industry. It is now very clear there has been a huge amount of no—deal planning and workarounds are now in place, such as batch testing and mutual recognition of standards. Three separate pharmaceutical companies based in France have also told me that the UK remains an extremely important trading partner and they will ensure that trade continues as today. It is worth remembering we import 37 million packs of medicine a month from the EU, and we export 45 million packs, so trade is reciprocal.

I want to close by saying I hope everyone here in the European Parliament will join me in supporting everyone touched by cancer, ensuring that we cooperate. I’m sure that you will also agree with me that playing political games with people’s lives is never acceptable.

Last updated: 8 November 2019Legal notice