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Roche re-joins UK pharma's trade body the ABPI

Firm left in 2009 following its suspension for a major Code of Practice breach 

RocheThe Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) has welcomed Roche back into the fold, as the Swiss firm once again becomes a full member of the UK trade body.

Mike Thompson, the ABPI's chief executive, called Roche's decision to re-join a “boost [that] couldn't have come at a more crucial time”.

Referencing the industry-wide challenges to be faced by Britain's June vote to leave the European Union, he commented: “It's important that the ABPI can provide a coherent and aligned voice for our industry which represent the views of companies large and small.”

Indicating a change in the biotech giant's pharma outlook, its UK general manager Richard Erwin seconded this need for greater collaboration with the ABPI and its members on the UK healthcare front.

He said: “Our industry can be subject to significant environment shifts and we recognise how important it will be to collaborate with other companies, the NHS and healthcare professionals to ensure that UK patients can get access to world leading healthcare.”

Roche decided not to renew its membership in 2009 after fulfilling a six-month suspension from the organisation for a major sales-related breach of the ABPI's Code of Practice.

That was caused after it was revealed that the company sold large quantities of obesity drug Xenical (orlistat) to private diet clinics between 2003 and 2005.

The shock exit created tension within the UK trade body over the loss of the biotech's substantial six-figure annual subscription, with the ABPI going so far as to dispute the firm's right to leave.

It also raised industry concern over regulators' ability to impose similar sanctions in future to non-member organisations.

In June this year, the ABPI handed out its first suspension since the Roche case, censuring Astellas for repeatedly attempting to cover up compliance failings in its European business. The firm is expected to renew its membership in nine months time.

Article by
Rebecca Clifford

1st September 2016

From: Healthcare

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