Diabetics stock up on insulin over Brexit fears

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Diabetics and insulin providers in Britain are stockpiling the precious medicine to avoid potential shortages in case Britain leaves the European Union without a deal in just over month’s time.

“I started about two months ago,” David Burns, a 37-year-old teacher living in London, told AFP.

“I used to pick up insulin once a month. Now I’m picking it up about once every two weeks and I am just going to keep doing this until I can be reassured that it is going to be OK.

“But it’s likely we are heading for a no-deal Brexit and our country is in a very precarious position.”

Many of Britain’s 3.7 million diabetics, who include Prime Minister Theresa May, depend almost entirely on insulin imports from continental Europe.

The hormone, which is usually produced by the pancreas, helps diabetics regulate their blood-sugar levels.

A no-deal Brexit would almost certainly mean re-establishing customs and health controls, which could lead to delays at the border.

London and Brussels have both said they want to avoid this scenario but nerves are fraying as the March 29 departure date looms.

“We definitely do hear that people are making sure that their stocks are a bit higher than usual,” Robin Hewings, chief policy officer at Diabetes UK, told AFP.