The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) has responded to today's publication of the Exiting the EU Committee report into the process for exiting the European Union and the Government's negotiating objectives.
In December, Dr Virginia Acha, ABPI Executive Director - Research, Medical & Innovation gave evidence to the Exiting the EU Committee stating that 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.
Upon reviewing the Committee's report published today, the ABPI welcomes their explicit focus on the importance of transitional arrangements and the UK's future relationships with regulatory agencies and bodies.
Mike Thompson, ABPI, Chief Executive commented:
“We welcome the Committee's focus on the importance of getting medicine regulation right from day one of the UK leaving the European Union.
Securing continued regulatory cooperation and alignment with the EU for medicines will be in the best interests of the UK Government, EU member states and patients.
We are confident that Government understands that any transitional arrangements should not put patient access to medicines under threat. We will continue to work with Government to make sure this happens as smoothly as possible.”
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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.