Two topics I’ve been wanting to write about for a while are my epilepsy and Brexit. However, I didn’t think I’d be writing about them in the same blog.
Today The Guardian published a letter that has been signed by epilepsy specialists, researchers and fundraisers. The headline reads:
No-deal Brexit poses a potentially fatal risk to those with epilepsy.
You see a large amount of medication prescribed in the UK is actually manufactured elsewhere within the EU, and even those that are created within our own country are at risk, as a large proportion of the active ingredients needed to produce these life-saving drugs are imported from as far away as India and the Far East. This means free movement across the EU and into the UK is essential when it comes to sustaining the supply of medications needed to keep people alive.
I’m currently going through a medication transition, in less than four weeks I will be being kept alive solely by a drug manufactured in Belgium! What concerns me even more about these tablets in particular, is that they are not commonly used and neither is my other main Anti-Epileptic Drug (AED). I have tried pretty much every popular AED out there and am now relying on two medications that are hard to get even before Brexit has happened, very few pharmacies actually stock either of them so they always need to be ordered in. Surely the government would prioritise commonly used medicines over ones like mine. Meaning if there isn’t a deal in place on 29th March, I may lose access to my medication and as depressing as it is to write, without it I’d probably be dead within 24 hours.
The government has put plans in place in case of a No-deal Brexit, however, those that have signed this letter are still concerned about the situation and fear the government’s amendments could increase the risk of avoidable deaths of people with epilepsy. There are already 21 epilepsy-related deaths each week, many in the young and many avoidable, we need to do everything we can to prevent the number from rising any quicker than it already is.
I am concentrating on AEDs and Epilepsy as that is where my concern lies, but many other ongoing conditions will be effected equally, even antibiotics may be hit. This is just one problem in an ocean of Brexit related concerns but it needs to be fixed soon!
To read the full letter click here.