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Drug manufacturers wade into Brexit debate

ABPI: Brexit could delay drug licensing (Credit: Alex Mihis)

ABPI chief executive Mike Thompson says members are "overwhelmingly supportive" of remaining in Europe

The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) has stepped into the Brexit debate by claiming that remaining in Europe gives patients "faster access to new medicines".

Manufacturers are “overwhelmingly supportive” of remaining in the EU, ABPI chief executive Mike Thompson said yesterday (May 9).

EU membership brings a range of benefits to patients and the pharmaceutical industry, Mr Thompson said. In contrast, Brexit risks "the breakdown of international collaboration between scientists, doctors and industry, which could slow down access to new drugs for UK patients".

Drug licensing delays

“With the European Medicines Agency, pharmaceutical companies have a one-stop shop for centralised licensing of new medicines and treatments across Europe,” he said. “If we left the EU, the licensing of new medicines would have to be handled by a UK agency as well as a European agency."

“Our members have confirmed that the applications for a UK licence would come after the European licence, due to the smaller patient population in the UK,” he said.


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Total votes: 107

Cuts to research funding

Mr Thompson stressed that EU research and development funding allows the UK to “punch above its weight globally”.

This funding would be cut if Britain voted to leave the EU, which would put the UK’s “enviable position” as one of the “premier European destinations for ground-breaking research and clinical trials” in jeopardy, said Mr Thompson.

Remaining in the EU would also encourage global pharmaceutical companies to continue investing in the UK, he added.

Do you support the ABPI's view on Brexit?

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Henry Legat, Community pharmacist

Surprising, given that it might stop parallel importing overnight.

M Elnemy, Non healthcare professional

Of course contractors want to stay in the EU...its a cheap source of labour which many abuse......locums must/should vote to leave as an over supply of labour will mean less jobs...some multiples paying £11 per hour...for relief managers LOL...


And non health care professionals are on nil hour contracts at Boots 

Jay Badenhorst, Superintendent Pharmacist

I wonder what the American owned companies with head offices in Switzerland think about this. Like Obama said (who is basically old news now) 'we'll be in the back of the queue'.... Somehow I don't think that will happen....

Mike L, Sales

Agree M Elneny, lets send all the Anglo-Saxons back home to Denmark and Germany and only have Celtic pharmacists.....nice closed market, put the prices back up, wages up. Re-introduce traditional British working practices, poor service, poor opening hours and untrained staff.....Elnemy (isnt that an old Druidic name?) 

M Elnemy, Non healthcare professional

Mass immigration benefits the big cooperates as it s a cheap source of labour...the ppl that suffer are those at the bottom end of the pay structure...poor opening hours are due to the fact that the market is closed and not open to competition -

The government cant even take care of the ppl that were born here let alone accommodate 400,000 ppl every year...N one is against immigration, they are against UNCONTROLLED  immigration

when my father came her in the early 60s without a penny to his name, it was around 30,000. By hard work he is now a muillionaire ££££££££££££

So immigration is good when controlled like that  in 200 other counteries around the world...



Mike L, Sales

So when it's my family's immigation it's good, and when it's others coming in it's bad?. So if 30,000 people came here (like your family) and made themselves millionaires and paid their taxes and contributed, isnt that a good thing?. The stats show 85% of recent immigrants are in work and net contributors, why not let them in and use the extra tax generated to pay for a decent NHS

Fact Check: Net immigration to UK last year was 298,000



M Elnemy, Non healthcare professional

I bet they source of foreign labour....romanian / polish pharmacists flooding the Uk market  under cutting native pharmacists.....


I agree. If corporations want us in, then it must benefit them. That sorts that then, I think I'll vote out. 

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