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Brexit: Positive Noises on Regulatory Cooperation in Pharma & Life Sciences Sector

on Wednesday, 09 August 2017.

We recently reported that organisations from across the pharma and healthcare spectrum had joined forces to create the Brexit Health Alliance with the aim of safeguarding issues of health in light of Britain leaving the European Union.

We have now seen further positive developments recently with a series of letters and statements around regulatory co-operation.

Following a meeting with the Ministerial (Bio-Pharmaceutical) Industry Strategy Group (MISG), a body that brings together Government and the bio-pharmaceutical industry to jointly consider how to promote a strong and profitable UK-based bio-pharmaceutical industry, two leading Government ministers have written a letter showing their commitment to the pharma & life sciences sector. Jeremy Hunt, Health Secretary, and Greg Clark, Business Secretary, published a letter expressing a desire to find a way to continue collaborating with the European Union in the interests of public health and safety.

The Three Principles from the Letter

  1. Patients should not be disadvantaged from Brexit
  2. Innovators should be able to get products in the UK market as quickly as possible
  3. We should continue to play a leading role in promoting public health

The Government letter was also expressed a desire for the UK to work closely with the European medicines regulator, the European Medicines Agency. If formal co-operation could not be achieved, there would have a regulatory system protecting patients' best interests and supporting the UK's life sciences industry so it could go from strength to strength.

Two days later, players from across the UK's pharma & life sciences sector in the MISG wrote a letter in support of the Government's letter.

A further letter was then published from a wide range of bodies representing innovators to generics from the UK and Europe (such as the AESGP, BGMA, BIA, EFPIA, PAGB and others) to support this message.

What Could the Result of these Actions Be?

It is rare to see such joined up noises coming from Government and different parts of the pharma & life sciences sector. There is still a long way to go, but in times of uncertainty, it is good to see a united voice trying to give assurance to patients and the industry with a desire to work together. This will need to be carry on in the coming months as negotiations continue apace, and industry must continue to engage, explain the imperatives of a joined up system for the good of all and seek appropriate assurances, whatever the outcome of the Brexit discussions.

For further information, please contact Paul Gershlick in our Pharmaceuticals & Life Sciences team on 01923 919 320.

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