The Chief Executive of The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), alongside leaders from seven other UK and European pharmaceutical and life science industry bodies, have written a joint letter to both the UK and EU Brexit negotiation teams to underline the importance of securing ongoing cooperation between the UK and EU on medicines.
The letter (available here), sent to Michel Barnier, European Commission Chief Negotiator, and David Davis, Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, underlines the importance of securing ongoing cooperation between the UK and EU on medicines as part of the negotiations to agree a new relationship between the UK and the EU.
Alongside ABPI CEO Mike Thompson, the other signatories of the letter are the leaders of The Association of the European Self-Medication Industry (AESGP); The European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA); EuropaBio; Medicines for Europe; British Generic Manufacturers Association (BGMA); BioIndustry Association (BIA); and The Proprietary Association of Great Britain (PAGB).
It follows a letter published in the Financial Times last week by Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Health, and Greg Clark, Secretary of State for Business, which outlined the UK Government’s plans for the regulation of medicines post-Brexit.
Key passages in the letter include:
"Securing agreement [on ongoing cooperation between the UK and EU on medicines] is the best way of ensuring that patients across Europe and the UK are able to continue to access safe and effective medicines and to ensure that there is no adverse impact on public health."
"... In the case of an unorderly withdrawal there is a risk that all goods due to be moved between the UK and EU could be held either at border checks, in warehouses or manufacturing and/or subject to extensive retesting requirements. In fact, this would lead to a severe disruption of most companies’ supply chains, which would lead to potential supply disruptions of life-saving medicines."
"An implementation period that adequately reflects the time needed by pharmaceutical and biotech companies to transition to a new framework should be agreed on by negotiators. This will allow companies time to make the necessary arrangements to avoid any unintended consequences on the availability of the medicines."
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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.