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Pharmaceutical companies spending millions to mitigate Brexit uncertainty

5 December 2017

The Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee hears evidence on the impact of Brexit on the pharmaceutical industry.

The Committee questioned witnesses from the pharmaceutical industry, including the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (APBI) and the pharmaceutical companies of Johnson & Johnson, on the implications of Brexit for the industry.

Ensure patients do not lose access to medicines

Rachel Reeves MP, Chair of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee, said:

"The BEIS Committee heard today that pharmaceutical companies are already spending tens of millions of pounds to mitigate the uncertainty they are facing, moving jobs and investment overseas. 

Witnesses from across the pharmaceutical industry told us that divergence from the European Medicines Agency will bring costs that far outweigh any benefits, and could make the UK a less attractive place to invest and work.

The Government has so far provided reassuring words to the pharmaceutical industry on what it hopes to achieve in negotiations, it is now vital that they turn this into action to ensure that patients in the UK and EU do not lose access to vital medicines."

Regulation, research and access to skilled workers

The evidence session considered how different scenarios relating to future customs and trading arrangements might affect the industry in the UK and consider what the Government should be seeking to achieve in negotiations.

Questions covered areas such regulation, research and development and access to highly-skilled workforces.

Witnesses raised issues relating to the potential impact of customs delays, the future operation of clinical trials and batch-testing, the limited opportunities for UK supply chains and new markets, and the potential impact on the NHS of regulatory divergence.

Further information

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