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BrexitJune 29 2016

Generics medicines manufacturers are calling for Britain to keep the current European process for approving medicines, following the referendum outcome.

In a statement for the British Generic Manufacturers Association and the British Biosimilars Association, Warwick Smith, Director General, said: “The existence of a single European marketing authorisation for medicines has generated considerable benefits for patients, the NHS and the industry. The single European marketing authorisation reduces cost and complexity for manufacturers, facilitating the production and regulation of high quality medicines and their availability to patients.

“The UK generic and biosimilar medicines industry therefore urges the Government to do everything possible to maintain this European marketing authorisation system in the forthcoming negotiations with the European Union.”

The Association for the British Pharmaceutical Industry had a different focus for its message in its immediate reaction to the referendum outcome. The ABPI’s CEO, Mike Thompson, said: “The voice of the British people has been heard. This creates immediate challenges for future investment, research and jobs in our industry in the UK. With that being the case, we are committed to working closely with the government to agree what steps need to be taken to send a strong signal that the UK is open for business.”

Prior to the referendum, Mr Thompson along with a number of leaders from ABPI member countries had been co-signatories with 1,280 business executives of a letter backing the case to remain within the EU.

The pharmacy regulator, the General Pharmaceutical Council, has also issued a statement. GPhC Chief Executive Duncan Rudkin said: “It is too early to say what, if any, are the legal implications for pharmacy regulation of the vote to leave the European Union. Current arrangements, including for EU pharmacy professionals already registered or training in Britain, and for those seeking to register or train in Britain, remain in force. This will continue to be the position unless and until the law is changed.”

Meanwhile, the Federation of Small Business has participated in the business summit held by the Business Secretary Sajid Javid. Smaller firms employ 15.6 million people, which make up 60% of all private sector employment in the UK.

Ahead of the meeting, the FSB said: “Access to the right skills is a crucial requirement of smaller firms to ensure they can meet consumer demands and grow as a business. Over 30% of FSB members are worried they do not have access to the right skills.

“Smaller firms need to be able to hire the right person for the job, and sometimes this means recruiting from overseas. While we must focus hard to upskill our UK workforce, including both academic and vocational skills, access to skilled labour from the EU must remain in place in the medium-term. In addition, many UK small firms, the self-employed, consultants and freelancers want the right to work in the EU as they do now.”

Links:

BGMA comment

ABPI comment post referendum

ABPI letter in favour of Remain

GPhC comment

FSB comment

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