What post-Brexit concerns does influential committee have for pharma?
MPs say the government must ensure there is a post-Brexit deal for the UK pharmaceutical industry that provides the ‘closest possible regulatory alignment with the EU’.
In a report, they say there must be the minimum border friction to avoid the risk of harming patients and the pharma sector losing its status as a world leader.
The Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee states that leaving the EU without an agreement for pharma would lessen access to markets, including £11.9bn of exports and to more than 446m potential patients and consumers. ‘British patients’ access to medicines would also be at risk, with nearly three-quarters of pharmaceutical imports coming from the EU,’ it says.
The biggest concern for the industry, say the MPs, is the possible regulatory divergence from the European Medicines Agency. It would mean pharma having to duplicate their facilities and roles across the EU and UK with subsequent impact on costs that would make the UK a less attractive market. The committee calls for continued membership of the EMA and that the government retain an EMA presence even after the agency has relocated to Amsterdam in 2019.
Report authors say non-tariff barriers present a challenge because delays at the border would put time and temperature sensitive treatments at risk. On tariff barriers, the committee says there could be harmful tariffs for many products.