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UK pharma faces 'immediate challenges' following Brexit

Life science sector awaits fallout from vote to leave the European Union
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The UK life science sector has entered a period of uncertainty following the country's vote to leave the European Union.

Pharma trade body the ABPI has warned of “immediate challenges” for the industry, while its opposite number for biotech said Brexit adds uncertainty to several key issues.

Mike Thompson, CEO of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) has 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.”

But the government has its own challenges with uncertainty, following the announcement by prime minister David Cameron this morning that he will resign in October.

At that point it will be up to his successor to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, giving the UK two years to negotiate its withdrawal from the EU.

Meanwhile, the UK biotech sector has warned the country's decision to leave the EU places several key issues "in flux", among them medicines regulation and access to the single market.

BIA Chief Executive, Steve Bates, said: “Key questions about the regulation of medicine, access to the single market and talent, intellectual property and the precise nature of the future relationship of the UK with Europe are now upon us.

“This will require detailed and dispassionate thinking and the BIA will make its and its members' expertise available to the government and its key agencies in the coming weeks and months as we work through these complex issues.”

But he added that the “fundamentals of UK bioscience remain strong”.

Nevertheless, the referendum's outcome caused shares to plunge and the pound hit a 31-year low as the markets reacted.

With industry leaders and trade bodies warning against Brexit, there had been a clear consensus that it would be bad for the country's life sciences sector, so all eyes within the sector will be on the next steps taken. 

Article by
Dominic Tyer

24th June 2016

From: Healthcare

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