Export news in brief: pharmacy, drugs, medicines, EU, Brexit, currency

Export news in brief
Export news in brief

Leaving the EU could harm UK’s access to medicines

The UK’s leading life science companies have warned that leaving the EU could add risk to the wealth and health of the nation by bringing uncertainty to the industry, adding barriers to investment in the UK and threatening access to the latest medicines.

In a letter to The Observer, the chief executives of the Association of British Pharmaceutical Industries (ABPI), Glaxo SmithKline, AstraZeneca and the BioIndustry Association are amongst over 90 signatories who claim that the future success of the UK life sciences sector is underpinned by being part of the EU’s single market, and EU regulatory processes.

If the UK was to leave a reformed Europe, companies would have to apply for separate market authorisations to sell their products in both the UK and Europe – which could delay access for the millions of NHS patients to the latest drugs and treatments.

Life Sciences Minister George Freeman MP said: “This is a serious warning from the leaders of the UK’s £60 billion life science sector, which highlights the choice in this referendum: our economic security and global influence as part of the EU, or a leap in the dark.

“Being out on our own would risk the employment of 220,000 people, billions of pounds of inward investment, and our life science exports to the EU - which last year were worth over £29 million every day.”

Currency fluctuations rocks travel industry

More than half of UK-based travel companies (51%) believe adverse currency fluctuations are affecting their business.

More than half (54%) of the firms polled by Equiniti International Payments stated that currency fluctuations as the most frequent problem by far when processing global supplier payments, with a fifth (20%) citing the heavy administration involved in the processing of bulk payments as their second biggest pain point.

Equiniti International Payments managing director Andy Brown says that currency fluctuations are likely to remain a major hurdle to the travel sector as global market volatility continues to differ from region to region.

He said: “Travel businesses have typically turned to forward contracts to ease potential risks associated with currency fluctuations as these arrangements have protected them by locking in a specific rate agreed by both parties. However, this solution can be inaccurate, complicated and sometimes a costly process as they are based on the currency traders experience and knowledge of the predicted state of the two currencies.”