IPEC e-newsletter - Excipients Insight March 2018 - 28-03-18


Inside this issue


Life sciences industry welcomes Brexit transition deal, with reservations

The UK pharma industry has responded with relief to the news that the UK and EU have agreed most elements of the transition period post-Brexit, and the negotiation guidelines for the next stage of the process.

The chief executive of the BioIndustry Association (BIA), Steve Bates, said that both sides had negotiated “pragmatically” for a positive outcome for patients on both sides of the channel.

“The life sciences sector has repeatedly called for a transition period to enable companies to adapt to the significant challenges posed by a Brexit in March 2019,” he continued. “We will now be working closely with government and industry stakeholders to understand the detail of the agreement and how it applies to our sector and medicines.”

The BIA is however concerned that the published European Council negotiating guidelines for phase two does not make medicines regulation a priority, a view that is also voiced by Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) CEO Mike Thompson.

“As the transition agreement states the UK will play a limited role in the European Medicines Agency, we need to be sure that does not rule out close longer-term collaboration,” he said, adding that the pharma industry’s priorities of phase two are regulatory alignment, free and frictionless trade, access to European funding and access to skilled talent.

“As the next phase of talks begin, we will continue to make the case that the best way to safeguard patient safety and protect public health is for the UK and the EU to continue to cooperate on the regulation, trade and supply of medicines,” said Thompson.

GlaxoSmithKline CEO Emma Walmsley also welcomed the breakthrough on transition talks, telling the BBC that the company “certainly welcomes this pragmatic approach to transition” but adding that it is also looking for “more precision on the details of the end-stage of the relationship.”

She told the BBC that maintaining alignment with the EMA from 2021 onwards – after the two-year transition period – is of paramount importance if the UK is to remain a major market within Europe.




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