Life-sciences industry leaders say UK exit from EU could hit access to new drugs

A letter signed by 93 business leaders and organisations from the life-sciences industry warned that the UK leaving the EU would put access to cutting-edge medicines at risk. The letter, which was signed by GlaxoSmithKline CEO Andrew Witty and AstraZeneca chief executive Pascal Soriot, said there are "significant advantages for the UK life sciences sector...remaining part of the EU."

The letter, which was also signed by heads of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) and the BioIndustry Association (BIA), noted that remaining part of the EU "would enable the sector to continue to operate within an 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 EU sooner."

According to the letter, continued membership of the EU would also assist "scientific activity and R&D jobs," with researchers and small businesses in the UK able to "benefit from access to EU funding and from collaborations with cutting-edge science across the continent."

Earlier this year, the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) said that the UK's continued membership of the EU is "in the best interests of the pharmaceutical industry in the UK and across Europe."

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