Evaluating the impact of Brexit on the pharmaceutical industry.

05 Oct 2017

INTRODUCTION: The UK Pharmaceutical Industry is arguably one of the most important industries to consider in the negotiations following the Brexit vote. Providing tens of thousands of jobs and billions in tax revenue and research investment, the importance of this industry cannot be understated. At stake is the global leadership in the sector, which produces some of the field's most influential basic science and translation work. However, interruptions and losses may occur at multiple levels, affecting patients, researchers, universities, companies and government. GOALS: By understanding the current state of pharmaceutical sector, the potential effect of leaving the European Union (EU) on this successful industry can be better understood. This paper aims to address the priorities for negotiations by collating the analyses of professionals in the field, leading companies and non-EU member states. RESEARCH METHODS: A government healthcare policy advisor and Chief Science Officer (CSO) for a major pharmaceutical firm were consulted to scope the paper. In these discussions, five key areas were identified: contribution, legislative processes, regulatory processes, research and outcomes, commercial risk. Multiple search engines were utilised for selecting relevant material, predominantly PubMed and Google Scholar. To supplement this information, Government documents were located using the "GOV.UK" publications tool, and interviews and commentaries were found through the Google News search function. CONCLUSION: With thorough investigation of the literature, we propose four foundations in the advancement of negotiations. These prioritise: negotiation of 'associated country' status, bilaterally favourable trade agreements, minimal interruption to regulatory bodies and special protection for the movement of workforce in the life sciences industry.