Novartis fears ‘disorderly Brexit’ will have ‘far-reaching implications’

By Ben Hargreaves

- Last updated on GMT

(Image: Getty/ktsimage)
(Image: Getty/ktsimage)

Related tags: Brexit, Ema, Eu, Novartis, Stock, Sanofi, Novo nordisk

Novartis joined industry associations in expressing concerns over the impact that a ‘hard’ or ‘disorderly’ Brexit could have on the life sciences sector.

Shortly after UK Prime Minister, Theresa May, suffered a defeat on a potential Brexit deal, the UK and European industry associations released statements warning on the dangers of a ‘hard’ Brexit.

At the end of last week, Novartis joined the call by releasing a statement suggesting that the UK government make “minimizing the disruption to the medicines supply [its] highest priority.”

“Divergence from the close regulatory and legal cooperation that exists today between the UK and the EU has far-reaching implications for the way the life sciences sector operates,” ​the statement continued.

In terms of the action it is taking to prepare for Brexit eventualities, the company revealed that it is increasing inventories of its medicines in the UK.

Novartis has an increased stake in Brexit negotiation after it announced a “multi-million-pound investment”​ to relocate its UK headquarters to London in November 2018​.

Wider industry concerns

The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) released a statement immediately after the vote against May’s Brexit deal occurred, in which it reiterated that its members were stockpiling medicines and duplicating manufacturing processes to ensure its part in the Brexit transition.

For examples, Sanofi​, Novo Nordisk​, and AstraZeneca​, amongst others, have all revealed that they were building stockpiles of medicines ahead of the Brexit deadline of March 29.

However, despite such measures, the ABPI emphasized that a “‘no deal’ [scenario] would prove to be extremely challenging” ​to the industry.

While its European counterpart, the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations, called for both sides of negotiations to “put politics aside…to prevent patients from being harmed by the consequences of Brexit.”

Related topics: Regulatory & Safety, Regulations

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