Brexit Deal: Our Response

Union Jack - Read Morningside Pharmaceuticals blog on Brexit

On Christmas Eve 2020 the UK and the European Union managed to strike a deal before the end of the Transition Period on December 31st.

In response to the deal, our Chairman Dr Nik Kotecha OBE, said: “Uncertainty has dogged the UK’s business community and the wider economy since the referendum in 2016; so it’s great news that a deal has been agreed with the European Union just before the Christmas break.

“This deal delivers certainty and will enable companies to finally be able to make long term plans, as well as invest for the future, and what a bright future it could be. It also means that the UK will be able to continue to trade with minimal tariffs and disruption with the EU, which is by far our largest and closest trading partner. Saying this, the way we trade with the EU is changing and things will not be how they were, from the start of 2021.

“I am a great admirer of how UK businesses are able to adapt and innovate, as their operating environments evolve. As an independent sovereign nation there are likely to be many opportunities for businesses to grow into new markets, as the UK continues to sign trade deals around the world.

“Morningside was established as an 100% export-led business in the 1990s, supplying Aid to lower to middle income countries via international Aid Organisations. We have since become a leading manufacturer and supplier of generic medicines to the NHS, hospitals and pharmacies in the UK; so I have seen first-hand the opportunities which are out there, and the huge benefits on offer for UK Plc.

“On December 31st 2020 the Transition Period will end and there will still be some big changes, which UK businesses must prepare for now. But they can be confident that the New Year will bring a fresh start and most importantly of all – certainty – for the first time in a long while.”

Centre for Social Justice (CSJ)

CSJ (Centre for Social Justice) Awards

Morningside Pharmaceuticals were proud sponsors of the national Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) Awards 2020.

The CSJ Awards are a high-profile awards ceremony that honours the best
grassroot, poverty-fighting charities and social enterprises across Britain.

Six winners received a £10,000 prize and their work was showcased in
front of high profile politicians, philanthropists and business people from
across the country.

BLOG: 1 Great Idea for Post-Brexit Supply Chains

Authorised Economic Operator (AEO)

As businesses enter one of the most turbulent periods in UK history; Chairman of Morningside Pharmaceuticals, Dr Nik Kotecha OBE, looks at how an international accreditation may help companies navigate their supply chains through the coming storms.

As the old adage goes ‘trouble comes in threes’, which is certainly the case for UK business this winter.

Not only will there be significant disruption at the end of the Transition Period, with or without a deal with the EU; UK PLC also has the dread of a second more serious wave of Covid-19 to contend with, as well as the renewed threat of a double dip recession.

These three troubles will most acutely be felt by UK businesses, which rely on sophisticated supply chains to import and export their goods with the EU and the rest of the world.

There is a wide-range of advice from the Government for preparing for the end of the Transition Period, which businesses should go through in detail and act upon immediately, as we hurtle towards the December 31st deadline.

At my company, Morningside Pharmaceuticals, which manufactures and supplies a wide range of quality generic medicines for the UK and international export markets, we have been preparing for some time to ensure disruption to our safe and secure temperature controlled supply chains are kept to an absolute minimum.

For Morningside, the disruption to imports and exports caused by Covid-19 and the potential challenges of a disorderly Brexit have made focusing on our supply chains a necessity. Globally, we export a wide range of quality medicines to international Aid organisations. So it’s vitally important that we are able to supply our medicines in an efficient, controlled and safe manner. Ensuring pharmacies, hospitals and our patients have the life-saving medicines they need is of paramount importance to our business.

Out of all of the actions we have taken, there is one which stands out from the crowd, and may have a profound impact on business’ importing and exporting capabilities, as the UK seeks to establish new trade routes with the rest of the world.

This was applying to become an Authorised Economic Operator (AEO), which is an international standard accreditation given by HMRC, which shows that our supply chain processes are safe and secure. It also ensures that the holder may be able to benefit from arrangements under Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRA), which are agreed with third country customs authorities.

The benefits of this accreditation are that it is recognised by not just the EU, but countries all over the world, which will be enormously beneficial for businesses looking to tap into new global markets.

To achieve this a business must submit an application to HMRC, which is then followed by an audit and inspection of their premises and supply chain processes. To help prepare for the audit we carried out a gap analysis to further improve our processes, which were fully reviewed in line with the criteria. Further details can be found on the website by visiting here.

AEO Status Explained

There are two types of AEO status: AEO (C), which helps with customs simplification, and AEO (S), which verifies that a business’ supply chains meet the highest security and safety standards. I am very proud that Morningside has successfully secured both, which becomes AEO (F), for full.

The AEO (C) accreditation benefits the holder in a number of ways including; receiving priority treatment for customs controls; a faster application process for customs simplifications and authorisations, as well as a reduction in a business’s deferment account guarantees and a reduction or a waiver of comprehensive guarantees. Holders can also move goods into temporary storage between different member states and will receive a lower risk score, which may reduce the number of checks customs carry out on documents and goods.

The AEO (S) accreditation allows the holder to receive propriety treatment for customs controls; reduced declarations requirements for entry and exit summary declarations from countries outside of the UK and EU, as well as a lower risk score which may reduce the number of checks customs carry out on their documents and goods. Holders will also benefit from reciprocal arrangements and mutual recognition with countries outside the EU.

Who Can Apply

Most UK businesses will be eligible to apply for the AEO accreditation, as long as they are a legal entity, established in the UK or a EU member state, are actively involved in customs operations & international trade; and have a European Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number.

Businesses can also apply if they are new to customs and can clearly show the processes and procedures they have in place to meet the criteria. Anyone involved in the international supply chain that carries out customs related activities in the UK or EU can apply for AEO status, regardless of the size of their business.

Global Recognition

Once a UK business has achieved the accreditation, it is recognised throughout the whole of the EU area.

If a business has AEO (S) status they can benefit from arrangements under Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRA), which the EU negotiates with third country customs authorities. Currently this applies to China, Japan, the USA, Andorra, Norway and Switzerland.

Businesses looking to trade with these new markets will enjoy faster clearance at the borders, less interventions and lower risk scores.

I would recommend businesses to consider these international standards. By going through this assessment process and looking at all of the checks and balances in our robust supply chain, it has made our business far stronger. The process identified areas of improvement to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of our security and supply chain processes, which have been implemented.

This will certainly help if this winter’s troubles really do come in threes.

LOROS Hospice Light Up a Life Headline Sponsors

LOROS Hospice Light Up a Life

Morningside Pharmaceuticals were delighted to once again sponsor the LOROS Hospice Light Up a Life Remembrance Service, which went virtual this year.

Each year this wonderful service brings hundreds of people together to remember loved ones who have passed, as well as to sing carols and light the beautiful Christmas tree.

After this year’s virtually streamed service, a LOROS spokesperson said: “It was lovely to have so many of you join us for our special virtual light up a light service on Sunday 6th December. If you missed the service and would like to watch it, please see the video links below.

“Thank you to all of you that have donated so far, we have currently raised over £50,000 for our Hospice. This will go a huge way in helping to make sure our patients continue to receive the best care possible and that the families that need it most are supported this Christmas time.”

Watch the service LIVE here: 

Dr Nik Kotecha OBE, Chairman of Morningside Pharmaceuticals, added: “”At Morningside, family and the community are at the heart of our business, which is why we feel privileged to support this great event once more.

“Light up a Life provides people with the opportunity to honour and remember loved ones, while sharing in the magic of Christmas.

“This wonderful event, which has gone virtual for the first time this year, will go a long way to supporting LOROS’ patients and their families throughout the festive period.

“Thank you for making a difference to someone’s life this Christmas.”

Foodbank Donation For Diwali

John Storer Charnwood food bank

Giving back to local causes in the Voluntary and Community sectors is important to us at Morningside Pharmaceuticals.

This Diwali, our colleagues supported in a socially-distanced-way our local foodbank, John Storer Charnwood, by donating a wide-range of essential supplies and contents to go into Christmas boxes.

This included long life foods such as tins, and boxed/wrapped products. The charity also received kind donations, such as selection boxes and wrapped treats like chocolates.

The donations helped the most vulnerable and those facing extreme hardship in the Charnwood Borough during  the winter and ongoing Covid-19 pandemic lockdowns.

John Storer Charnwood is an independent charity serving the communities of Charnwood with activities running throughout the day and evening and at weekends too.

It has award-winning therapeutic allotments at its Mountfields site and supported lunch clubs in the House during the week as well as well-being sessions including craft, cooking, drama and choir.

Its usual clients are predominantly older people, people with a disability and the more vulnerable members of our society.

As a Strategic Partner of Charnwood Borough Council, John Storer Charnwood also has a wider role in the borough.  It provides a range of volunteering opportunities within JSC that maintain inclusive participation and embrace all abilities and advertises opportunities for other Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) groups, signposting potential volunteers where possible.  It hosts the VCS Forum, a quarterly meeting where organisations can come together to discuss the issues affecting the sector and also sources and hosts reasonably priced training open to VCS groups throughout the borough.

Since the beginning of the Covid-19 outbreak in the Spring of 2020, it has been working with Charnwood Borough Council and other VCS organisations under the umbrella of Charnwood Community Action.

The hub is based at John Storer House and one of its functions is to be the main foodbank for the whole of Charnwood.

HMRC Grants Us The AEO Standard

Authorised Economic Operator (AEO)

We’re delighted to reveal that Morningside Pharmaceuticals has achieved full HM Revenue & Customs Authorised Economic Operator (AEO F) status.

Speaking about the achievement, our Chairman, Dr Nik Kotecha OBE, said: “Congratulations and well done to the Morningside Team for achieving the AEO Customs (C) and Security (S) accreditations.

“This is a great achievement which involved submitting an application to HMRC, followed by an audit and inspection of our premises and supply chain processes. This accreditation is important for both importing and exporting businesses like Morningside because it is an international standard that is recognised by not just the EU, but countries all over the world, and shows that our supply chain processes are robust.

“It also ensures that the holder may be able to benefit from arrangements under Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRA), which are agreed with third country customs authorities. Businesses looking to trade with these new markets will enjoy faster clearance at the borders, less interventions and lower risk scores.

“This accreditation will be very beneficial to UK businesses, as we near the end of the Transition Period, and look to establish new trade routes with countries within and outside of the EU.”

BLOG: Pharmacists Are Among Our Unsung Heroes

Dr Nik Kotecha OBE, Chairman of Morningside Pharmaceuticals

The Covid-19 pandemic has hit many pharmacies and the sector as a whole hard. Dr Nik Kotecha OBE, Chairman of Morningside Pharmaceuticals, takes a look at their often unrecognised contribution and the role they will play in the nation’s eventual recovery from Covid-19 and a possible no-deal Brexit.   

During the height of the Covid-19 pandemic pharmacists were on the front line, ensuring patients were able to get the medicines they needed, as the country went into full lockdown.

As a key manufacturer and supplier of medicines to the NHS, pharmacies and hospitals, my business felt the huge pressure the sector was under, as patients were prescribed several months’ supply of their medication around March and April.

The significantly increased demand came at a time when we were only able to have 50% of employees onsite and 50% working remotely due to social distancing measures, which thanks to our dedicated and hard-working employees led to minimal interruption to supply. Disruption, which looks set to impact the sector further, as more local lockdowns are enforced and the second wave of Covid-19 becomes more sustained.

For many pharmacists the same was true and it’s quite clear that they were one of many unsung heroes of the lockdown period. However, after the initial surge in demand, it is also clear that many community pharmacists have faced hugely challenging times because they were legally obliged to remain open, as people shunned towns and cities, even after the initial lockdown restrictions were lifted.

This has led to calls for more funding for the sector because many face the real prospect of closure. This despite the great debt which the country owes them, as well as other healthcare workers, for helping us all whether the initial Covid-19 storm.

As a key supplier to pharmacies we are all too aware that pharmacists are on the front line and continue to play an essential role, and have been extremely adaptable to the many process and social distancing changes Covid-19 has brought about.

I have worked in the Pharmaceuticals Sector for almost 30 years and have experienced many ups and downs. The Covid-19 pandemic is one of the most serious crises the UK has ever faced, and one that the sector as a whole will have to get through by coming together.

A priority for us all is patient safety and ensuring patients receive their often life-saving medicine. This is why we do what we do, because we can make a difference and save lives. All for the public benefit.

But there is no magic wand that is going to resolve the situation quickly and even the arrival of the first vaccines may not provide the reassurance that many hope for, particularly as their effectiveness and the timings around their testing and mass production are still unclear.

Coupled with this is the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the end of the Transition Period and the potential for the UK to leave the EU without a deal on January 1st 2021.

For the sector to survive and thrive we must all plan ahead and adapt to the new reality. Community pharmacists have already begun this journey by being very adaptable and innovative, such as establishing delivery services to ensure the elderly and vulnerable receive the medicine they need, as well as embracing video technology for consultations with shielding patients.

As a supplier to pharmacies we are making big efforts to prepare for a potential severe second wave of Covid-19 this winter as well as for a ‘No Deal’ situation, such as adapting our supply chains and ensuring we are acting upon the importing and exporting advice from the Government’s UK Transition website. Another high priority for us is to work with the Department for Health & Social Care (DHSC) to ensure we are able to continue to supply our patients.

What is clear is that once all of these challenges are over, and they will eventually be over, community pharmacies will still be essential to people’s everyday lives, good health and wellbeing.

I strongly believe that pharmacies and the whole Pharma Sector have a major role to play in the nation’s recovery, and I hope once we get past the current pandemic and political changes, that the nation recognises community pharmacists, NHS, social and care workers, as the unsung heroes they truly are.

New CEO & Chairman Appointments

Dr Nik Kotecha and Tim Brady of Morningside Pharmaceuticals

Medicines manufacturer and supplier Morningside Pharmaceuticals has appointed a new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Chairman to oversee the company’s governance.

The Executive team and Group Board will be responsible for enhancing internal and external systems and processes, as well as delivering the business’ ambitious growth plans for the future.

As part of the structure changes the company’s Founder and Chief Executive for almost 30 years, Dr Nik Kotecha OBE, has taken on a key strategic role for the business and become Chairman of the Board.

Tim Brady, who has extensive experience of leading Business Development and Sales & Marketing in the pharmaceuticals’ sector, has become the business’ new CEO. Tim joins newly appointed Chief Operating Officer (COO) Monica Huang and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Cliff Fung, as leader of the company’s Executive team.

Morningside’s Chairman of the Board Dr Nik Kotecha OBE said: “Morningside was founded in the 1990s through an entrepreneur’s dream of making quality healthcare an affordable and accessible reality throughout the world.

“Since then we have grown from a garage start-up to one of the Midlands’ leading life sciences businesses. None of this would have been possible without our excellent people, past and present, who have made Morningside the highly successful business it is today.

“The appointment of the Executive team is a key part of our strategic plans for continuing to grow Morningside into the future. For my part, I am very much looking forward to becoming Chairman of the Board which will play a key strategic role in guiding the business’ strategy, alongside the new Executive team.

“My passion is entrepreneurship and helping businesses grow through investing in innovation, Research & Development and exporting to international markets. To help support these core areas I will continue to take on senior regional and national advisory roles. I am also immensely proud to have founded the Randal Charitable Foundation in 2017, which has an unwavering vision to save lives, help the socially disadvantaged and significantly improve the quality of life for those in need in the UK and around the world. My focus will continue to be Morningside as well as supporting these key business, community and philanthropic endeavours.”

“I would very much like to welcome Tim to Morningside, who will take the helm during this exciting new chapter in our company’s history.”

Morningside’s growth plans include launching new niche generic medicines from its Research & Development (R&D) pipeline, registering products in international territories and further growing our branded and generic medicines portfolio and market share in the UK.

The business is a leading manufacturer and supplier of quality generic and branded medicines to the United Kingdom and export markets, which includes twice daily deliveries to the NHS, hospitals and pharmacies in the UK; and supplying vital medicines and healthcare products to charities, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and International Aid Agencies world-wide.

Introducing Tim Brady

Tim Brady joins Morningside as the business’ new Chief Executive. He has over 30 years’ experience of working in senior roles in the pharmaceuticals sector. His career has led to him building a successful pharma business from the ground up, to being a country and European executive for global life sciences businesses. More recently Tim has taken on a number of senior directorships, specialising in the areas of Business Development, Sales & Marketing, as well as International Sales.

Mr Brady, said: “Morningside is built on very solid foundations and is set for an even faster period of growth. The Leadership Team at Morningside is the best in the industry; they have proven that over the past 30 years and the challenge now is to get even better at what we do.

“All the people at Morningside are fully engaged, motivated, knowledgeable and excited about the future and this will be a hugely important advantage for us as we continue to build our reputation as a key supplier to the NHS and international markets.

“Morningside has always had an enviable product pipeline, which is going to produce some important new products in the coming months and years. An even sharper focus on speed to market for these products and stronger relations with our customers and supply chain, will mean patients and doctors will have greater choice of medicines, more quickly.”

Tim Brady started his new role at the beginning of September 2020.

BLOG: Preparing for Brexit Knowns and Unknowns

Dr Nik Kotecha OBE, Founder and Chairman of Morningside Pharmaceuticals

As the post-Brexit EU trade deal negotiations continue into the Autumn, and we come to the end of the Transition Period on December 31, UK businesses must prepare. Department for International Trade (DIT) Export Champion and Chief Executive of Morningside Pharmaceuticals, Dr Nik Kotecha OBE, shares his thoughts on how to be ready for every known and unknown eventuality.

As the famous quote goes ‘there are known knowns, known unknowns and also unknowns unknowns’.

This very much applies to the current Brexit negotiations between the UK and the EU continue we know there are red lines on both sides, though the outcomes are still unknown.

What is clear to me and my company is that businesses must prepare for every eventuality, and start right now, if they have not done so already.

Getting started

The first question is where should you start? The best source of information if you are just beginning the process is where you can find the latest Government guidance on preparing for the end of the transition period.

For most businesses, the guidance on importing and exporting goods with the EU is particularly important.

If you can’t find the answers you need, you can also make use of an enquiry service run by the Department for International Trade. Fill in the form and one of their experts will get back to you.

Preparing our supply chain

At Morningside Pharmaceuticals, we manufacturer and supply quality generic medicines to both UK and international markets. We are actively making plans to mitigate any disruption to our import and export activities from the EU, particularly with our supply chain.

There is no import duty on ‘finished’ pharmaceutical packs, but we are concerned about disruption to our supply chains and the time taken to get products to destinations through customs.

We’re checking tariffs that may be payable under the new UK Global Tariff that will apply to goods imported from around the world, unless there’s a trade agreement in place.

One of the most important actions we took was to apply to be an Authorised Economic Operator (AEO), which is an international standard accreditation given by HMRC, which shows that our supply chain is safe and secure. It also ensures that the holder may be able to benefit from arrangements under Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRA), which are agreed with third country customs authorities.

To achieve this a business must submit an application to HMRC, which is then followed by an audit and inspection of the supply chain. To help prepare for the audit we carried out a gap analysis to further improve our processes, which were fully reviewed in line with the criteria. We believe that the AEO (C) & (S) Standards will keep us in good stead for not just trading with the EU, but for the rest of the world, as well.

Mitigating disruption

Another important step is to check if you should register for VAT. You must also ensure you apply for a license or certificate if you need one for the sector you work in, and make an export declaration to get goods through customs.

For importing, businesses will have to make customs declarations when importing goods from the EU. Be aware that from January 1, 2021, the rules for importing some types of goods will change. You should also make sure you have an EORI number starting with “GB”, have checked the rate of tax and duty needed to pay, and have looked at ways to make the importing process quicker.

As a responsible manufacturer and supplier of pharmaceutical products we have proactively taken action to ensure there is no disruption to the supply of medicines. An example of this includes a buffer stock of six weeks’ worth of drugs to cover any potential delays with shipping goods at the ports.

In terms of our logistics partners, most haulage providers are also taking part in Alternative Routing, which is worth exploring and may help avoid delays at Dover and Calais.

Preparing to keep exporting

All export shipments to the EU will require a customs declaration, and we’ve ensured we have an EU EORI number staring with “GB”, and if there are any licensing requirements or rules for the goods we export. For example, the rule for pharmaceuticals entering the EU is that any product that is being used in the EU, and going to an end patient there, must be released by a Qualified Person (QP) within the EU.

In the event of a No Deal, we have built contingency plans to release batches for our customers in the EU through a site in the Republic of Ireland. Having an EU base will also enable us to comply with EU regulations around pharmacovigilance and the licensing of medicines in the EU from an EU territory.

Another high priority for us as is to work with the Department for Health & Social Care (DHSC) to ensure we are able to continue to supply our patients in the UK, as well as exporting medicines to patients who need them ‘on time’, especially as the risks of a second Covid-19 wave this winter are all too apparent.

My advice to businesses would be to look at all of your known knowns and unknown knowns, and start preparing for every eventuality. This is the only way to ensure businesses are as prepared as they can be. Get started now, use the  Government’s Transition Period Advice to learn more about the action you need to take to keep trading in 2021.


Countdown’s Rachel Riley Supports Award

CSJ (Centre for Social Justice) Awards

TV’s Countdown star Rachel Riley has presented a national charity award, which was sponsored by Morningside Pharmaceuticals.

The Financial Inclusion Award was revealed virtually by Rachel via video to Vineyard Compassion, and is part of the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) Awards 2020.

View the Video below to watch Rachel present the award.

Morningside were proud sponsors of the Financial Inclusion category and would like to congratulate Vineyard Compassion, which meets the needs of anyone in poverty in Coleraine, Northern Ireland, including food poverty, debt, worklessness, loneliness or mental ill-health.

The CSJ Awards honour the best grassroots, poverty-fighting charities and social enterprises in Britain. Six winners received a £10,000 prize, which will go towards providing their often life saving and life changing community work.

Our category winner Vineyard Compassion has helped over 5,000 people a year through a variety of services including: housing for those at risk, emergency food, clothing and household essentials to those in crisis, as well as debt counselling and money management support.

The CSJ chose the charity as the category winner because they believe that recognition of what they are achieving will open the door to further opportunities and relationships, and they wish to expand both in the quantity and quality of their services.