Industry ‘Disappointed’ By UK Plans For Free Trade Deal With US
Govt Again Denies Claims That Drug Prices Will Rise
The UK has published its negotiating mandate for talks on a free trade deal with the US. As expected, intellectual property protection figures prominently, but the life sciences industry sees little merit in the government’s approach. It also warns that the UK’s future relationship with the EU could lead to greater regulatory burdens and costs.
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The US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer has intimated that a controversial provision requiring 10 years of biologic data exclusivity would not be contained in a proposed free trade agreement with the UK, as it seeks partners following its exit from the EU.
Despite the life sciences industry’s call for continued alignment of medicines regulation with the EU from next year and for some sort of co-operation with the European Medicines Agency, it seems the UK government is prepared to make only small concessions.
The UK’s decision to pull out of Europe’s Unified Patent Court system throws the future of the whole project into doubt.