Post EU Referendum: What now for Life Sciences?

Some of you might recall an audience member having a heated debate with Nigel Farage on Question Time about the possible implications leaving the EU might have on the Pharmaceutical industry. Well, no one really knows for certain, although for an industry that had been booming, and one that had been a real success story for the British economy, change has possibly come at an unwelcome time.

As reactions to the result start to pour in, Mike Thompson, chief executive of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry, a strong supporter of the remain campaign, said the decision "creates immediate challenges for future investment, research and jobs in our industry in the UK".

"With that being the case, we are committed to working closely with the government to agree what steps need to be taken to send a strong signal that the UK is open for business."

Steve Bates, chief executive of the BioIndustry Association, said that while the fundamentals of UK bioscience remain strong, "several key issues for our sector are now in flux".

"Key questions about the regulation of medicine, access to the single market and talent, intellectual property and the precise nature of the future relationship of the UK with Europe are now upon us. This will require detailed and dispassionate thinking and the BIA will make its and its members' expertise available to the government and its key agencies in the coming weeks and months as we work through these complex issues."

In a statement, the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations stressed the importance of ensuring that the patient is at the centre of all subsequent decisions, as the implications of the UK's exit from the EU are considered.

"EFPIA shares the common goal of ensuring rapid access to innovative medicines for patients across Europe, as well developing a regulatory and policy environment that fosters innovation and supports the research and development of new medicines to meet the needs of patients, healthcare systems and society. As an industry, over the coming months, we are committed to engaging with stakeholders both in Europe and in the UK to support these objectives."

With The Prime Minister resigning, the Conservative Leadership race about to begin and Labour’s shadow cabinet in disarray, the repercussions of the referendum result have already taken effect in a big way. Once something resembling calm has been restored, and the exit strategy is in place, things will certainly become clearer for industries like Life Sciences, and what measures they will likely have to put in place.