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Healthcare would be 'on the table' in post-Brexit trade negotiations with US, Trump's ambassador says

Woody Johnson

The American Ambassador to the United Kingdom has said that Britain’s healthcare system would be ‘on the table’ in post-Brexit trade deal negotiations between Britain and the United States.

Speaking in an interview with Andrew Marr, Johnson & Johnson heir Woody Johnson, the US Ambassador to the UK, said the “entire economy” would be “on the table” in trade negotiations between Britain and the United States.  

NHS Confederation chief says news of Brexit extension is a relief

Niall Dickson, the Chief Executive of the NHS Confederation, has said news of the decision to extend the Brexit deadline to the 31st October had come as a ‘relief’.

However, Dickson, who co-chairs the Brexit Health Alliance, called for an end to the ‘circus of uncertainty’ surrounding the UK’s exit from the European Union.

Epilepsy Society calls for review of UK supply chain following "steep rise" in access issues

The Epilepsy Society has drawn attention to the “steep rise” in UK patients who are encountering difficulty in accessing seizure medication.

While issues around access to these medicines have been or could be further exacerbated by Brexit, the society asserts that this has been a problem for over a decade, and one which Big Pharma has continuously failed to address.

The society has said that its “Helpline and enquiries desk inundated with worried callers”, and the added anxiety and stress is compounding the risk of seizures in patients.

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As Brexit looms, pharma trade lobby the ABPI called for a ban on exports of medicines in the case of no-deal Brexit. The industry organisation warned that a plummeting pound could incentivise distributors to sell drugs in markets abroad.

Meanwhile, this month’s feature ‘How I learned to stop worrying and love the placebo effect’ looked at what placebos mean for clinical trials. In talking to Harvard professor Dr Ted Kaptchuk, Louis Goss asked what the placebo effect is and what it means.

ABPI calls for temporary export ban in effort to prevent shortages in case of no-deal Brexit

The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) has called for a temporary ban on exports as a means of preventing shortages in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

A plummeting pound could incentivise wholesalers to sell medicines overseas instead of in the UK, the ABPI said.

Despite measures aimed at preventing shortages of drugs in the UK, the ABPI claimed a drop in the value of the British pound could create a situation in which companies with export licenses would find it more lucrative to sell drugs inside the Eurozone, instead of in the UK.

Sanofi may airlift flu vaccines into UK after Brexit

French firm Sanofi would airlift flu vaccines into the UK in the case of a highly disruptive exit from the European Union.

The company would fly in flu vaccines (which cannot be stockpiled) if other transport routes are disrupted after the country leaves the EU, according to Hugo Fry, the Managing Director of Sanofi UK.

“We prepare in different ways and have prepared many different routes into the UK,” Fry said to BBC Radio 5 live's ‘Wake Up To Money’ show. “If we have to in the end, we will airlift it in.”

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The US Department of Justice has launched an investigation into the sales and marketing practices of San Diego firm Acadia Pharmaceuticals in relation to Nuplazid, a psychosis drug for those with Parkinson’s disease.

Personal genomics company 23andMe, this week announced they would offer reports on customer’s likelihood they would develop type 2 diabetes. Meanwhile researchers published results showing a new class of drugs offered similar efficacy to statins.

Healthcare industry could take up to five years to stabilise after no-deal Brexit

The healthcare industry could take up to five years to stabilise in the event of a no-deal Brexit, according to pharmaceutical industry professionals surveyed by GlobalData.

Two thirds (66%) of respondents in the US, EU and UK believed that it would take more than three years for the UK to stabilise its healthcare industry, compared to just 9% who thought stabilisation would occur in less than 12 months.

More than 40% of GPs intend to quit within five years

More than 40% of GPs intend to quit within five years according to researchers at the University of Warwick.

The researchers described a ‘worsening crisis’ in GP retention as workloads increase as most GPs reported that they were working more hours and that morale was worse than two years ago.

The research, published in the journal BMJ Open found that 42.1% of GPs planned to quit or retire from the jobs in the NHS within the next five years compared to 31.8% in 2014.

Read the March 2019 issue of Pharmafocus online now!

Just one month to go until Brexit here in the UK, and it’s still all to play for. After months of warning the government over its need for certainty post-Brexit, the pharma and life sciences industries are nonetheless left with little option other than to keep one eye on the daily news and one set of fingers crossed.

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