• Bengaluru
  • 22 August 2016
  • Features
  • By Ayesha

What would BREXIT mean for Biotech?

The UK has a strong track record in the life sciences and healthcare sector with tax incentives, investment and funding, R&D and other key drivers high on its agenda

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Britain's exit from the European Union (EU) has shaken the world economy. There is an uncertainty in the business world across sectors, and biotech is no different. Britain is a very important market for biotech and pharma, and one of the immediate challenges is the fate of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) among others.

As per a Norton Rose Fulbright, a global law firm, "After Brexit (2018+) the impact upon the life sciences and healthcare sector largely depends upon what model the UK adopts for its relationship with the EU. If the UK remains in the European Economic Area (EEA), then the changes may be minimal. If the UK joins the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and negotiates sector specific access to the single market, then the landscape depends on the exact nature of that relationship. If the UK distances itself further from the EU, then the changes may be more extensive.

Whatever the relationship ultimately is, the UK has a strong track record in the life sciences and healthcare sector with tax incentives, investment and funding, R&D and other key drivers high on its agenda. We would expect that to continue. The UK accounts for approximately 25% of the EU market and will remain a key market. Switzerland (which is not in the EU) is a prime example of how the sector can develop effectively outside of the EU."

We contacted industry captains, to understand their views on BREXIT, and whether it will have any impact on Indian lifescience, pharma and biotech sector. Here's what they have to say:

"We respect the democratic decision reached in this referendum. We expect that there will now be a protracted period of transition and we will engage with all the relevant stakeholders to safeguard the competitiveness of the life science industry and the speed of patient access to innovative medicines. We also expect that there will be a period of intense negotiations to determine how the UK will work with Europe and the rest of the world and this could take several years to complete. We therefore believe that the effects of BREXIT will not be immediate and it is too early to discuss its impact on the industry."
- Sanjay Murdeshwar, Managing Director, AstraZeneca India

 

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