Life sciences in Scotland warns of increasing uncertainty for sector
10 Nov 2017
Life science companies in Scotland are facing increasing uncertainty because of lack of clarity about future regulation, says the chair of the sector’s industry leadership group.
In an open letter, Dave Tudor called on the Government not to diverge from EU regulation and continue to cooperate with the European Medicines Agency.
He stated: “Uncertainty arising from the UK Government decision to leave the European Union is already having negative impacts on these life sciences companies in Scotland, and the concern is that this is set to intensify.”
Writing as chair of Life Sciences Scotland, Tudor emphasised the sector’s economic contribution.
He stressed it employed some 37,000 people across 700 organisations, contributing more than £4.2bn turnover and £2bn gross value added to the Scottish economy. He added it was growing approximately 6% per annum.
We would strongly resist creating a new and untried Scottish life sciences regulator when there is a long established global regulatory system
Dave Tudor, chair, Life Sciences Scotland Industry Leadership Group
However, its composition differed markedly from the rest of the UK, said Tudor, with medtech/diagnostics companies comprising nearly half of the sector in Scotland, and pharmaceuticals just 5%.
“Our aim is to ensure that the Scottish Life Sciences sector continues to thrive and grow and we believe there is significant benefit in continued close partnership and collaboration with the EU,” he remarked.
The group has canvassed life sciences companies over the past six months on the opportunities and threats likely to arise from Brexit and identified the main concerns as regulation, ease of goods movement, talent hire and access to research and development.
“The sector is of the clear view that UK life sciences regulation should not diverge from EU regulation and should continue to see continued cooperation with the European Medicines Agency,” he commented.
“We would strongly resist creating a new and untried Scottish life sciences regulator when there is a long-established global regulatory system.”
The leadership group added that trade needed to continue tariff free with minimal customs procedures and continued mutual recognition for testing and release between the UK/EU and EU MRA Partners to ensure security of supply. Companies were also keen to see a UK/US trade deal being initiated along with any UK/EU agreement.