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EU referendum outcome will have major consequences for UK’s pharma sector - GlobalData

Published on 23/06/16 at 09:50am

The outcome of today’s referendum on the UK’s continuing membership of the European Union (EU) will have major consequences for the country’s pharmaceutical and medical device sectors, according to research and consulting firm GlobalData.

For the pharmaceutical and medical device industries, a vote to leave would have significant consequences in five key areas including, regulatory impacts, research and development, access to talent, intellectual property rights, and market access.

For manufacturers, the most immediate impact would be on the area of drug and device regulation, as a Brexit vote would be followed by a series of negotiations lasting two years.

David Shaw, GlobalData’s chief operating officer, said: “Given the time scales that life sciences operate, to suddenly enter a two-year negotiation process doesn’t sound like a long time, and that uncertainty makes the monetizing of investments appear more risky,” says.

Life science, including pharmaceuticals and medical devices, is a critical element of the UK economy, accounting for over 180,000 jobs and revenue of over $80 billion, according to UK Trade and Investment, the report said.

There are numerous potential ramifications of a Brexit vote for the healthcare sector. For example, the European Medicines Agency (EMA), which is headquartered in the UK, is likely to be swiftly relocated to the EU.

While it is difficult to envisage a positive outcome for the UK pharmaceutical industry in the event of Brexit, a close vote to remain may in fact provide a driver for great positive change in the industry, GlobalData said.

Anjali Shukla

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