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Alarming Rise in 'No-Deal' Brexit Concerns Among Pharma

on Thursday, 26 September 2019.

EMIG (The Ethical Medicines Industry Group) has published its latest Brexit Barometer survey results, showing its members' views and feelings around preparations for Brexit.

The results paint a stark comparison between now and the feelings and concerns that existed a year previously.

The survey, in which 80% of respondents are from businesses that employ 250 people or fewer, showed the following:

  • One in three now believe we are heading towards a 'no-deal' scenario. This has doubled since the year before. Just 15% think there will be a deal with the EU that preserves the status quo, or that will reverse Brexit altogether.
  • 52% have spent over £100,000 on Brexit preparations, with 23% having spent over half a million pounds.
  • 25% have changed the route for importing medicines into the UK.
  • Approximately half are running down their stockpiles that they had built up for March.
  • Most people have found enough warehouse space to store medicines; only 5% say there is not enough.

EMIG is a multi-stakeholder network and trade industry association that represents the interests of the full span of life sciences companies in the UK. Its industry members range from new business start-ups focused on R&D, through to well-established companies delivering a wide range of essential medicines to patients. Its members supply 50% of branded medicines by volume to the NHS.

No Surprises

It is not surprising that pharma has spent a lot of money preparing for Brexit, nor that there has been a big increase in feelings of a 'no-deal' Brexit, given the failure to agree anything in the spring and change in government.

Through PING (Pharmaceutical Industry Network Group), VWV held a sell-out conference in association with EMIG, on 3 April 2019, on how Brexit has affected the pharma supply chain. We heard about regulatory, research, immigration and trade issues; as well as an interesting and uplifting perspective from a European-based industry speaker. Press coverage of the event can be found in PharmaTimes and Pharmafield.


If you are interested in attending future PING Conferences, or have concerns about how Brexit will affect the pharma sector, please contact Paul Gershlick in our Pharmaceuticals and Life Sciences team on 01923 919 320.