The U.K. citizens have voted and the results are in—the U.K. will be leaving the European Union (EU).
The U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron announced his resignation after the ‘Brexit’ (British exit) and addresses the British voters on leaving the EU.
Before the party conference in October, Britain will have a new Prim Minister, Cameron said.
According to the voting results on The Guardian, 48 percent of the U.K. citizens voted to remain (16,141,241 votes), while 52 percent voted to leave (17,410,742 votes).
Several weeks before the referendum vote, ITV discussed what impact the Brexit would have on the pharmaceutical industry.
Pharmaceutical Processing also interviewed BIA Chief Executive, Steve Bates, about the referendum prior to the vote. He, like many of the pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical experts in the U.K., were in support of remaining with the EU.
A “Brexit” (or British exit) puts the regulatory framework and central authorization process at risk, Bates said, adding that the harmonized system in place is a “component of the U.K.’s successful life sciences sector.”
“In the event of a ‘Brexit,’ it is our view that the U.K. would either have to accept European legislation that it cannot influence (which is the model available under membership of the European Economic Area) or develop new U.K.-specific rules at cost,” said Bates. “Even if the latter option were pursued, in order for the U.K. to remain an attractive place to do business in for mobile, global companies, similar (if not identical) regulatory systems would need to be established.”
According to an article by BBC:
So what happens if there is a vote for the UK to leave? It seems certain that the EMA would move its headquarters out of London to an EU country. . . .
If the UK decides to negotiate to stay in the EEA there would not, in practice, be much difference to regulation. But if the UK stays out of the EEA, drug companies would need to go through a separate process with British regulators for new products as the centralised European route would not be applicable to the UK.
However, now that the die has been cast, many changes are on the horizon for both the U.K. and the referendum’s impact on the pharmaceutical industry.
We spoke with Bates about the outcome of the referendum, who gave the following comments:
“This is not the outcome that the BIA wanted, but we accept the views of the U.K. people. The life sciences sector is a resilient community, unfazed by new challenges, and staffed by great management teams used to working in a global environment. The fundamentals of U.K. bioscience remain strong. In terms of potential new therapies in the pipeline, the U.K. is by far the strongest in Europe. But several key issues for our sector are now in flux.
“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 U.K. 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.
“The BIA remains committed to making the U.K. the third global cluster for life sciences and we will work closely with government and relevant agencies to see how this ambition can be delivered in the new political context we now find ourselves in as a country.”
So, what do you think? Will the U.K.’s separation from the EU benefit the pharmaceutical industry or hinder it?
Filed Under: Drug Discovery