Pharmaceutical Industry Welcomes an Important Step Toward Securing a Brexit Deal, Says ABPI

Pharmaceutical Technology Editors

Pharma industry welcomes announcement of a draft withdrawal agreement, stating it is an important step towards securing a Brexit deal.

A draft agreement on a Brexit deal has been published and is currently under review by members of the parliament in the United Kingdom, yet in the midst of multiple resignations and much discussion about whether the deal will get through parliament, the pharma industry has welcomed it as an ‘important step’ in securing a deal.

If the agreement manages to get through the UK’s parliament and a deal is struck between the UK and the European Union, it will mean that there will be a transitional period after  March 29, 2019 that will last for 21 months. This period will help smooth the exit transition for both the UK and EU, as it will afford governments, regulatory bodies, and industry time to figure out how to best proceed in terms of medicines supply, product authorizations, and so on.

"We welcome this important step towards securing a Brexit deal," said Mike Thompson, CEO at the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), in a Nov. 15, 2018 press release. "Agreeing a transition period will mean that our members can continue to supply medicines to patients without delay or disruption come March 2019. There’s much to build on. But there’s more work to be done. We are committed to working with the UK and the EU so that close cooperation on scientific research and medicines regulation are central to a future partnership agreement for the benefit of all.'

The UK BioIndustry Association (BIA) has also responded favourably to the draft agreement, releasing a response statement on Nov 15, 2018. "We welcome this week’s progress on Brexit discussions with the initial agreement between the EU and UK on a withdrawal agreement and the political agreement on the outline of a future relationship," confirmed BIA CEO, Steve Bates. "The withdrawal agreement builds on previous draft withdrawal documents. It includes detail on people, goods on the market, medicines regulation, intellectual property, state aid rules, the Irish border, and access to EU databases."

Bates also noted that BIA will continuously monitor the ongoing political debate around the draft agreement and will update its members accordingly. It will also work with its members to fully understand how this potential withdrawal deal may impact the life-sciences sector.

"There remains a long way to go for certainty on Brexit for life-sciences businesses but this is a key step on that journey," concluded Bates.

Sources: ABPI and BIA