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Brexit: Patients' access to vital medicines at risk unless government secures pharmaceuticals deal, say MPs

NHS and consumers would be expected to pick up the bill for higher priced medicines thanks to duplicated regulations and additional border controls, says report

Patients' access to vital medicines is at risk unless the government secures a post-Brexit deal for the pharmaceutical industry that ensures the closest possible regulatory alignment with the EU, MPs have said. Failure to secure a deal that ensures the minimum possible friction at borders, will damage the UK's world-leading pharma sector, the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee said in a report published on Thursday. 

It warned that prices of vital drugs could "be significantly impacted" if the UK diverges from European Medicines Agency (EMA) regulations. The EMA confirmed in March that it was moving from London to Amsterdam to remain within the EU after Brexit. The prospect of regulatory divergence from the EMA is the deepest concern for the industry, the report concluded. It said a separate UK regime could cost £45,000 for each new drug released, making the UK an unattractive market for new and innovative medicines.

This scenario would damage the UK pharmaceuticals industry, which exports £11.9bn of products to more than 446 million potential patients in the EU. Committee members called on the government to make continued membership of the EMA a priority, and recommended that the government seeks to retain a presence for the EMA in the UK after its relocation to the Continent. No deal could mean harmful tariffs for many products while border delays put time and temperature-sensitive treatments at risk, the report  constitutional crisis after Scots' rejection of Brexit bill.

Labour MP Rachel Reeves who chairs the BEIS committee, said: "The government's own analysis identifies pharmaceuticals as the sector for which UK/EU market access is the most important given the industry is reliant on friction-free border movement for their products.   "Any delays at the border faced by short-life pharmaceuticals for emergency treatments would have a hugely detrimental impact on patients.

Source: Independent  


Päivitetty/Updated: 17.05.2018

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