Since the UK voted to leave the European Union (EU), EFPIA, in partnership with the ABPI, have been evaluating the implications of Brexit for the pharmaceutical industry in Europe and the U.K. The integrated nature of the research, regulation and supply of medicines across Europe means that there are likely to be significant implications for EFPIA members and the wider research, regulatory and healthcare communities. EFPIA is working to ensure that, as the UK leave the EU, there is no reduction in patient access to safe and effective medicines. 

The EFPIA Brexit Taskforce

EFPIA established a Brexit Taskforce to coordinate the work of the pharmaceutical industry across Europe on Brexit. The Taskforce has brought together experts from across the pharmaceutical industry to understand the impact that the UK leaving the EU will have on patients and the industry across Europe.  

EFPIA is working closely with the European institutions and other stakeholders to ensure that these priorities are understood and are resolved through the negotiations between the European Commission and UK Government.  

EFPIA Brexit Priorities  

  • Regulation. Securing ongoing alignment, cooperation and mutual recognition between the UK and the EU regarding the authorisation, testing and surveillance of medicines.
  • People. Providing certainty for EU and UK citizens working in the pharmaceutical industry. Agree a straightforward immigration system that allows pharmaceutical companies to employ the best talent from around the world, and that facilitates skilled UK and EU nationals working across Europe.
  • Regulation. Scientific research collaboration between the UK and EU should be maintained after the UK leaves the EU. UK/EU scientific collaboration strengthens the EU’s global position in life sciences, attracting global life sciences investment to the EU.
  • Intellectual property. Equivalent standards of IP should continue to apply in the UK after Brexit and the existing level of strong IP incentives across the EU should be maintained.
  • Trade and supply. Medicines used by patients across Europe have integrated supply chains, which include the UK. The UK and EU should conclude a comprehensive agreement that ensures maximum alignment between EU and UK pharmaceutical laws. This agreement needs to avoid causing any disruption to existing quality control arrangements and must not disrupt the supply of medicines to patients in Europe of the UK.

Joint Trade Association letter on Brexit

On 13 July 2017, EFPIA set out the Brexit priorities of the pharmaceutical industry across Europe in a joint letter addressed to David Davis MP, the UK Secretary of State for the Department of Exiting the European Union and Michel Barnier, the Chief Negotiator, Task Force for the Preparation and Conduct of the Negotiations with the UK under Article 50. This letter was signed by seven other organisations representing the different sectors within the broader pharmaceutical industry in Europe and in the UK.

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