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HDA UK Media And Political Bulletin – 8 February 2018

Media and Political Bulletin

8 February 2018

Media Summary

Swift deal on EU transition is vital, says Glaxo chief

The Times, Alexandra Frean, 8 February 2018

 

The Times reports that the Head of Glaxosmithkline has urged the government to sign a two-year Brexit transition deal within two months to minimise disruption to medicine supplies.

Emma Walmsley also called for zero tariffs and minimal customs procedures after Britain leaves the European Union so that drug makers could be sure of “getting the right medicines to the patients”.

“The most important thing is that we get a transition period of at least two years, starting from March 2019, but . . . secured by April 2018, and we need to make sure that the negotiations that are ongoing are very clearly focused on patient safety and the continued supply of medicines to patients,” Ms Walmsley said yesterday.

 

Parliamentary Coverage

House of Commons Tabled Written Question – NHS: Drugs, 7 February 2018

Jonathan Edwards: To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effect of leaving the EU on access to existing medicines in the NHS.

Jackie Doyle-Price: The United Kingdom is fully committed to continuing the close working relationship with our European partners, and as part of the negotiations the Government will discuss with the European Union and Member States how best to continue cooperation in the field of medicines regulation (including with the European Medicines Agency).

Our aim is to ensure that patients in the UK and across the EU continue to be able to access the best and most innovative medicines, and be assured that their safety is protected through the strongest regulatory framework and sharing of data. Whatever the outcome of Brexit negotiations, we are clear that our regulatory system that protects the best interests of patients and supports the UK life science industry to go from strength to strength.

We are in regular contact with the pharmaceutical industry through the Ministerial and industry co-chaired UK-European Union Life Sciences Steering Group. Outside of this group we have consistent contact with industry and research charities.

As a member of the Cabinet, the Secretary of State has regular discussions with all Cabinet colleagues, including on Brexit.

House of Commons Tabled Written Question – NHS: Drugs, 7 February 2018

Jonathan Edwards: To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union on access to medicines (a) in the event of a no deal Brexit and (b) during a transitionary period.

Jackie Doyle-Price: The United Kingdom is fully committed to continuing the close working relationship with our European partners, and as part of the negotiations the Government will discuss with the European Union and Member States how best to continue cooperation in the field of medicines regulation (including with the European Medicines Agency).

Our aim is to ensure that patients in the UK and across the EU continue to be able to access the best and most innovative medicines, and be assured that their safety is protected through the strongest regulatory framework and sharing of data. Whatever the outcome of Brexit negotiations, we are clear that our regulatory system that protects the best interests of patients and supports the UK life science industry to go from strength to strength.

We are in regular contact with the pharmaceutical industry through the Ministerial and industry co-chaired UK-European Union Life Sciences Steering Group. Outside of this group we have consistent contact with industry and research charities.

As a member of the Cabinet, the Secretary of State has regular discussions with all Cabinet colleagues, including on Brexit.

House of Commons Tabled Written Question – European Medicines Agency, 7 February 2018

Jonathan Edwards: To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the benefits to the UK of remaining in the EU Medicines Agency after the UK has left the EU.

Jackie Doyle-Price: The United Kingdom is fully committed to continuing the close working relationship with our European partners, and as part of the negotiations the Government will discuss with the European Union and Member States how best to continue cooperation in the field of medicines regulation (including with the European Medicines Agency).

Our aim is to ensure that patients in the UK and across the EU continue to be able to access the best and most innovative medicines, and be assured that their safety is protected through the strongest regulatory framework and sharing of data. Whatever the outcome of Brexit negotiations, we are clear that our regulatory system that protects the best interests of patients and supports the UK life science industry to go from strength to strength.

We are in regular contact with the pharmaceutical industry through the Ministerial and industry co-chaired UK-European Union Life Sciences Steering Group. Outside of this group we have consistent contact with industry and research charities.

As a member of the Cabinet, the Secretary of State has regular discussions with all Cabinet colleagues, including on Brexit.

House of Commons Tabled Written Question – Drugs: EU Law, 7 February 2018

Jonathan Edwards: To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union on the UK remaining in the EU Medicines Agency and complying with EU regulations for medicines after the UK leaves the EU.

Jackie Doyle-Price: The United Kingdom is fully committed to continuing the close working relationship with our European partners, and as part of the negotiations the Government will discuss with the European Union and Member States how best to continue cooperation in the field of medicines regulation (including with the European Medicines Agency).

Our aim is to ensure that patients in the UK and across the EU continue to be able to access the best and most innovative medicines, and be assured that their safety is protected through the strongest regulatory framework and sharing of data. Whatever the outcome of Brexit negotiations, we are clear that our regulatory system that protects the best interests of patients and supports the UK life science industry to go from strength to strength.

We are in regular contact with the pharmaceutical industry through the Ministerial and industry co-chaired UK-European Union Life Sciences Steering Group. Outside of this group we have consistent contact with industry and research charities.

As a member of the Cabinet, the Secretary of State has regular discussions with all Cabinet colleagues, including on Brexit.

Full Coverage

Swift deal on EU transition is vital, says Glaxo chief

The Times, Alexandra Frean, 8 February 2018

 

The head of Glaxosmithkline has urged the government to sign a two-year Brexit transition deal within two months to minimise disruption to medicine supplies.

Emma Walmsley also called for zero tariffs and minimal customs procedures after Britain leaves the European Union so that drug makers could be sure of “getting the right medicines to the patients”.

“The most important thing is that we get a transition period of at least two years, starting from March 2019, but . . . secured by April 2018, and we need to make sure that the negotiations that are ongoing are very clearly focused on patient safety and the continued supply of medicines to patients,” Glaxo’s chief executive said yesterday.

Glaxo is Britain’s biggest drugs manufacturer, employing almost 100,000 people worldwide, and is an important contributor to the domestic economy and research and medicine.

Ms Walmsley, a former L’Oréal manager who joined as chief executive last April, has emphasised that the company’s pharmaceuticals business and research and development should be its top priority under her leadership.

She has attended the prime minister’s business advisory council and has been outspoken on Brexit, repeatedly talking of the importance of a transition period to help Britain to adjust after it officially leaves the EU in March 2019 but before the permanent arrangements for UK-EU relations kick in.

Although the impact of Brexit on Glaxo’s overall business will not be material, as Britain accounts for only 4 per cent of sales, drugs companies are particularly affected by Brexit because their business is highly regulated. Ms Walmsley called for mutual agreements between the UK and the EU to avoid duplication of regulatory procedures and full co-operation with the European Medicines Agency.

In its first annual results since Ms Walmsley took over, Glaxo reported an 8 per cent rise in revenue to more than £30 billion, for the first time and better than expected. Pre-tax profits rose by 82 per cent to £3.5 billion in the 12 months to December 31.

Glaxo warned that its earnings could slip this year in the face of increased competition in its core respiratory and HIV businesses, particularly if generic copies of its Advair inhaler, which accounts for 10 per cent of group sales, are launched in the American market by mid-year, as many analysts expect.

However, Ms Walmsley said she was optimistic that Glaxo would deliver on a promise of mid to high-single-digit earnings growth in the five years to 2020.

“Given the momentum we are seeing in our new products and recent launches, the performance improvements we are driving and the benefit of US tax reform, we are increasingly confident in our ability to drive growth over the next few years,” she said.

She added that the company would pay a dividend of 80p for the full year and expected the same figure for 2018.

Nicholas Hyett, an analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, the broker, said that although Advair sales were holding up better than expected, the looming increase in competition remained a ticking time bomb under the group. “If a generic makes it to market early next year, it will blow a hole in the Glaxo income statement,” he said.

Glaxo’s shares, which have fallen by nearly 18 per cent in the past 12 months, rose 3.4 per cent to close at £12.85½.

HDA UK Media And Political Bulletin – 8 February 2018

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