European Trade Associations Appeal to Brexit Negotiators for Cooperation

Jul 13, 2017
By Pharmaceutical Executive Editors
In a letter to the UK’s and EU’s chief negotiators for Brexit, Europe’s key trade associations have repeated the call for ongoing cooperation between the UK and EU on medicines as part of the negotiations to agree a new relationship between the UK and the EU.
 
The letter—signed by the heads of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), the British Generic Manufacturers Association (BGMA), the BioIndustry Association (BIA), The Proprietary Association of Great Britain (PAGB), the Association of the European Self-Medication Industry (AESGP), and the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA)—underlines that “securing such an agreement is the best way of ensuring that patients across Europe and the UK are able to continue to access safe and effective medicines and to ensure that there is no adverse impact on public health.”
 
The letter explains that such a cooperation agreement “would be in the best interest of public health and patient safety, noting that withdrawal from the EU of the UK’s MHRA “would mean a loss of capacity and expertise for the network for the review of medicines as well as the capacity across Europe for the surveillance and safety supervision of products”.
 
More importantly, the trade associations add, in the case of an “unorderly withdrawal there is a risk that all goods due to be moved between the UK and EU could be held either at border checks, in warehouses or manufacturing and/or subject to extensive retesting requirements. In fact, this would lead to a severe disruption of most companies’ supply chains, which would lead to potential supply disruptions of life-saving medicines.
 
The letter calls for an implementation period that “ adequately reflects the time needed by pharmaceutical and biotech companies to transition to a new framework should be agreed on by negotiators”, stating that it “will also be necessary for national competent authorities who need to ensure they are adequately resourced to deliver the procedures and maintenance activities associated with the new regulatory framework”.
 
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