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ABPI chief exec says no-deal Brexit is ‘not in the interest of patients’

Following prime minister Boris Johnson’s announcement last week that he was preparing for a no-deal with the EU, the Association for the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) has warned against such an outcome.

Responding to the prime minister’s announcement, ABPI chief executive Richard Torbett said: “No deal is not in the interest of patients, the pharmaceutical industry, or the economies of the UK and the EU.”

“As long as a window of opportunity remains, negotiators must keep talking and agree a comprehensive deal,” he added.

In particular, Torbett highlighted potential medicines supply issues and disruptions for key drugs between the EU and the UK. Torbett told the Independent that pharma companies have stockpiled of certain drugs in case of shortages in the new year.

“[Negotiators] must ensure medicines supplies are uninterrupted and that a way forward for patients in Northern Ireland is urgently found,” said Torbett.

“Our members are preparing for the end of the transition period at the same time as coronavirus cases rise across Europe. This should be enough to focus minds,” he added.

In the face of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the need for harmony between the EU and the UK has never been so urgent, said Torbett.