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UK pharma would benefit by remaining in EU, says ABPI

Published on 09/05/16 at 10:39am

With the EU vote approaching, the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) has brought together 93 signatories, including the likes of GSK CEO Andrew Witty, in a letter supporting Britain’s continued membership of the European Union.

Senior figures from across the industry, including the CEOs of GSK, AstraZeneca, UCB Pharma and companies big and small from across the UK, support the letter published in the Observer. Along with the ABPI, the letter was written alongside the BioIndustry Association (BIA).

The letter says: “The Life Science sector makes an important contribution to the health and wealth of the UK. Its pharmaceutical and healthcare products drive better health outcomes for patients, support improvements in the NHS, and provide high quality jobs. The sector employs over 220,000 people across the UK. It spends £4 billion on R&D, and also attracts high levels of inward investment – government support has led to some £6 billion in the last five years alone.”

According to the ABPI, remaining in the EU is necessary for the pharmaceutical and life sciences industries to continue to flourish in the UK. Significant advantages include the “established and harmonised regulatory approval system, ensuring that UK patients benefit from medicines more quickly, and that medicines researched and manufactured in the UK are available across the UK sooner.”

Highlighting how leaving the EU could have damaging repercussions, the letter finishes on a strong endorsement for Britain remaining in Europe. It closes: “Leaving the EU will bring added complexity and uncertainty, which is bad for business and research. Remaining in a reformed and more competitive EU will offer stability and predictability as a platform for even greater success… Staying in will be better for the health and the wealth of the UK.”

Sean Murray

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