Wider Implications of Brexit on Pharma

Sep 28, 2018
By BioPharm International Editors

As Europe and the United Kingdom are facing the ever-expanding shadow of Brexit, a keynote session taking place at CPhI Worldwide in Madrid will look to assess the wider implications of the UK’s exit from the European Union on the Pharma sector.

With concerns raised around the possibility of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit and the higher than anticipated staff losses due to the relocation of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) leading to restricted activities being required by the agency, now, more than ever, clarity for the industry is required. 

In terms of a ‘no-deal’ scenario, the UK government has made efforts to try to alleviate apprehensions through a series of technical notices—which it published in August 2018. These notices are aimed at informing enterprises, industry, and the public with the various measures that will be taken by the government in the instance of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit. 

The chief executive of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), Mike Thompson, welcomed the publication of the technical notices, stating:

“The pharmaceutical industry is doing everything in its power to minimize disruption of medicine supply in every possible Brexit outcome—including a ‘no deal’.  

“By agreeing to recognize and use medicines and vaccines licensed and manufactured in the EU, the UK government has taken an important step to protect patients.  We urge the EU Commission to do the same.

“We need to be clear that a ‘no-deal’ scenario is not in the interest of patients. Both sides must rapidly agree the terms of the UK’s withdrawal and a future relationship based on cooperation to protect public health, control infectious diseases and manage medicine safety.”

There have also been calls from the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock, for relevant pharmaceutical companies to stockpile medicines to counteract a worst-case scenario outcome.

Commenting on the call for stockpiling medicines, CEO of the UK BioIndustry Association (BIA), Steve Bates, said,“We encourage BIA members and other pharmaceutical companies that supply medicines for NHS patients from, or via, the European Union or [European Economic Area], to engage actively with the Department of Health request for information as to how, or whether, they can, or cannot, ensure an additional minimum of six weeks supply in the UK, over and above their business as usual operational buffer stocks, by March 29, 2019… A ‘no-deal’ Brexit would mean the biggest disintegration of the complex regulated medicines market in Europe in terms of regulation, cross border movement of goods, comparative pricing, andintellectual property. On behalf of patients we encourage all participants to be as prepared as possible for a scenario industry really does not want, but we should be under no illusions that this will be easy or smooth.”

The featured keynote session will be taking place in the CPhI Theatre—Hall 9, stand 9C80—between 11:10 and 11:40 am on Wednesday Oct. 10, 2018.

Source: CPhI

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