Dr Virginia Acha, ABPI's Executive Director of Research, Medical and Innovation has told MPs on the Exiting the European Union (EU) Committee that for the UK pharmaceutical industry a primary objective for Government in Brexit negotiations should be to secure alignment and cooperation with EU medicines regulation.
The UK is currently part of the European Medicines Agency (EMA), a network that facilitates the harmonisation of medicines regulation for more than 25% of global pharmaceutical market and over 500m patients. This includes EU member states, and non-EU members of the European Economic Area (EEA), Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.
Robust and internationally aligned medicines regulation, has been essential for protecting and improving the health of patients, has ensured effectiveness and safety, and has brought forward advances in medical innovation to large patient populations in a way that minimises delays and cost.
The UK having an aligned framework in place for medicines regulation ‘from day one’ of leaving the EU would be important for maintaining drugs availability and supply.
Dr Acha also told the Committee that recently announced Government funding for science and innovation was extremely welcome. In order for this to be maximised, enabling UK researchers and academics to continue global collaboration should be a goal of Brexit negotiations. In line with other leading UK business sectors, she also highlighted that maintaining the ability to trade and move goods and capital across borders, and prioritising ease of movement of global talent for high-value industries, are important for pharmaceutical companies in the UK.
Mike Thompson, ABPI's Chief Executive commented:
"As we lay the foundations for leaving the European Union, last week's Autumn Statement sent a clear message that a productive high-wage, high-skill economy of the future can be built through investing in UK science and innovation.
To make this a reality, maintaining the strength of the UK's pharmaceutical industry should be a Brexit priority.
Government has indicated that they are looking to achieve a bespoke Brexit deal for Britain. As part of this, there are several options for the regulation of medicines. This critical area has a significant impact on the pharmaceutical industry, and we are working with Government to outline the mutual benefit in striking a deal for the benefit of patients in the UK and patients across Europe.
UK alignment and cooperation with the EU framework for medicines regulation can be a common goal for our Government and for member states, and should be a priority objective in Brexit negotiations."
Find out more about our work on what Brexit means for the pharmaceutical industry and our work with Government to maintain and grow of a world-leading Life Sciences environment in the UK outside of the EU.
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About the ABPI
The ABPI represents innovative research-based biopharmaceutical companies, large, medium and small, leading an exciting new era of biosciences in the UK.
Our industry, a major contributor to the economy of the UK, brings life-saving and life-enhancing medicines to patients. We represent companies who supply more than 80 per cent of all branded medicines used by the NHS and who are researching and developing the majority of the current medicines pipeline, ensuring that the UK remains at the forefront of helping patients prevent and overcome disease.
Globally our industry is researching and developing more than 7,000 new medicines.
The ABPI is recognised by government as the industry body negotiating on behalf of the branded pharmaceutical industry for statutory consultation requirements including the pricing scheme for medicines in the UK.