Brexit: where next for the pharmaceutical industry?

Brexit has had a defining impact on every business sector since the UK voted to leave the EU in June 2016. With a long summer of wrangling over the details ahead before an expected deal in the autumn, an unresolved yet crucial question still persists: how will Brexit impact the way medicines are manufactured and distributed across Europe?

In this report, we seek answers, drawing on insights from both sides of the Channel and from the US. The report harnesses recent polling by Com Res and YouGov of MPs in the UK and MEPs in Brussels to gauge their perceptions of the industry. The results show the scale of the work still to be done by industry, patients and the broader health community.

Key findings

  • Trust: Only 23% of MEPs trust pharmaceutical companies to behave ethically and responsibly versus 43% of MPs
  • Importance: 16% of MEPs and 14% of MPs believe the pharmaceutical sector takes priority in Brexit negotiations
  • Trade: 51% of MPs and 35% of MEPs believe trade barriers resulting from Brexit could impact the supply of medicines to patients
  • Engagement: Most MPs and half of MEPs would like to have a greater understanding of what the pharmaceutical industry needs from Brexit

What the findings mean for the healthcare community

Whether the UK crashes out without a Brexit deal, or strikes an uncertain compromise to take both sides into the transition period, either outcome presents significant risks to the future research, medicines manufacturing and, ultimately, patients.

As negotiations come to a head, now is a critical moment for the sector to engage Brussels and Whitehall with positions that truly cut through the white noise of Brexit. Otherwise, as our findings demonstrate, the industry as a whole risks being side-lined amid the chaos.

For more information about our services and how Portland can help you, please get in touch with us at katie.saxon@portland-communications.com or on +44 20 7554 1600.


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