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Neuralink, a secretive "brain-machine interface" start-up owned by Elon Musk, revealed that it has been working on creating a wireless implantable device that can, theoretically, read your mind. (Source: theguardian.com)
The health minister for the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has previously suggested that a Johnson & Johnson vaccine could have clinical trials in his country to help battle the Ebola outbreak however, this has now been rejected. (Source: europeanpharmaceuticalreview.com)
The Home Office has released its annual statistics on animals used in research in Great Britain. It shows 3.52 million procedures were carried out in 2018, a 7% decrease on the 2017 numbers. (Source: pharmafield.co.uk)
US researched are claiming that by listening to the "world's most relaxing song" that patients' nerves can be calmed just as effectively as when using a sedative. (Source: bbc.co.uk)
GlaxoSmithKline has announced positive headline results from its Phase III PRIMA study of Zejula (niraparib) for patients with ovarian cancer in the first line maintenance setting. (Source: pharmatimes.com)
By guest blogger Preeti Parikh - Head of Business Development at RAS LifeScience Solutions, a boutique pharma/life sciences consulting firm.
It's been almost 3 years since the British public voted 52-48% to leave the EU on 23rd June 2016.12 Given the lack of clarity and ensuing uncertainty pharmaceutical companies, both in the UK and across Europe, have been planning for a worst-case scenario - leaving the EU with no-deal. In this blog, we'll take a look at the most important (subjectively assessed) implications of a no-deal Brexit scenario for pharmaceutical industry.
Before I discuss the potential consequences of a no-deal Brexit, here are some metrics that reflect the importance of the bond between the EU and the UK´s pharmaceutical economy8:
According to ABPI, every month 45 million packets of medicines move from the UK to Europe, and 37 million packs go in the opposite direction. Clearly, exiting the EU will have a significant impact on both markets. While multiple Brexit scenarios have been predicted, I will highlight the impact of a "no-Brexit" scenario on the pharmaceutical industry.
First, a quick recap
On March 29, 2017, the UK notified the European Council that it will withdraw from the EU by March 29th, 2019. However, unable to do so for several reasons, the UK requested and received an extension from the Council (in April 2019) for a new withdrawal date of October 31st, 2019.1,2
A "no-deal" Brexit scenario essentially means the UK would leave the EU without specific agreements in place about what UK-EU industrial/business relationships would look like going forward. Below are the key implications (as I see it) of a no-deal Brexit.
Stockpiling on a rolling basis
In August 2018, pharmaceutical companies were asked to develop six-week stockpiles for some drugs (~7000 essential medicines) to ensure a continuous supply in the event of a no-deal Brexit. However, on April 26th 2019, the Department of Health and Social Care asked these companies to keep their six-week stockpiles of medicines "in place but on hold" until further notice.3
Stockpiling on a rolling basis increases the financial burden on the manufacturers and creates costly inefficiencies, especially for medicines with short shelf-lives. Warehousing medical stock also creates an additional cost burden, with the uncertainty of the situation hindering the companies´ ability to plan ahead.
In the short term, many UK companies are beginning to move their facilities outside the country. GSK, for example, are building new laboraties in Europe so they can also test their products outside of the UK to ensure they can still be sold in the EU. Similarly, AstraZeneca have taken the position of halting all spends on stockpiling and risk the wrath of regulators in case of shortage due to a no-deal Brexit.6,7,13
Access to Public and Private Capital
A no-deal Brexit would reduce the UK's funding from the EU's Horizon 2020 programme (a £70B pot aimed at cutting-edge science) by ~50%. The UK´s access to EU funding beyond Horizon 2020 is still uncertain, meaning the UK could lose vital access to EU public funds.4,5,10
Access to private capital will also be adversely affected in the case of a no-deal Brexit: non-UK based venture capital and private equity funds will tighten their criteria of funding UK based biopharmaceutical companies, since the entry barriers to EU markets will increase.4
Costly marketing approvals
In case of a no-deal Brexit, the UK's MHRA will take over the regulatory functions currently performed by the EMA, including managing regulatory applications for medicines.9
This implies that UK companies will have to partner with and/or set up legal base(s) within EU countries to develop and commercialize their products for the EU market.11 The same holds true for EU companies as they try to access the UK market. These stipulations have the potential to hurt the bottom line of pharma companies with cross border ambitions.
The pharmaceutical industry (like all others) is currently in a 'wait-and-watch' mode as the UK tries to make an exit plan from the EU. The prospect of clarity seems distant, as trade negotiations are expected to go on for several years - impying decisions won't be made before the EU withdrawal deadline and therefore leaving the UK with a no-deal Brexit.
In the meantime, the increased cost of business and restricted access to capital is likely to adversely impact the UK´s pharma industry.
So, what does the future hold for Britain's pharmaceutical industry? We will have to wait and see... and prepare for Brexit....deal or no-deal!
EU: European Union
EC: European Commission
MHRA: Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency
EMA: European Medicines Agency
ABPI: Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry
MAH: Marketing Authorization Holders
EEA: European Economic Area
API: Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient
This article was first published on the RAS website on 12th July 2019.
With the summer months now here, are you noticing things have got a bit quieter?
Every year the world of work seems to cool off during July and August. The roads are less busy, more people are on holiday and there is a bit less to do at work. Here at Carrot, we see an opportunity. Why not explore what roles are out there for your next career move? Don't let the extra free time you have at work all go to waste.
So many of our wonderful clients are currently hiring and we have an abundance of fantastic new roles on. Many firms see the summer months as a great time to hire so if you fancy exploring new opportunities now is a perfect time to start interviewing for new roles.
Check out what vacancies we currently have available within the Pharmaceutical and Healthcare industry here or if you want to hear more get in touch with one of our consultants today on +44 (0) 1625 541 030 - [email protected]
The next step in your career could be right around the corner.
The NHS is partnering with Amazon to provide free expert health advice through Amazon's Alexa devices. (Source: BBC.co.uk)
Experts in dementia from pharmaceuticals, universities and charities have identified gaps in dementia research that could improve the search for a life-changing treatment for the condition. (Source: Pharmatimes.com)
The BMJ has published a study which shows there may be a link between the consumption of sugary drinks and an increased risk of cancer. (Source: Pharmatimes.com)
The University of Warwick has potentially found new ways to treat the pain caused in endometriosis through discovering the role of immune cells called macrophages in causing pain in the condition. (Source: Pharmatimes.com)
The US and the EU have entered into a fully implemented MRA to allow for the two bodies to rely on manufacturing site inspections for certain human medicines in their respective territories. (Source: europeanpharmaceuticalreview.com)
How do you get your foot in the door of a healthcare agency and where could it take you? by Louise Lavelle
What is a healthcare communications agency?
Healthcare communications agencies support their clients with communicating information about their products. Their clients may include pharmaceutical companies, biopharma, medical devices and clinical research organisations.
The information communicated could relate to findings coming out from clinical trail data about new products, indications, efficacy, therapies and treatment options. The agency will work with their client to devise the strategy then develop the activities and materials most suitable for communicating their information effectively to their target audience.
Their overarching aim with communicating new clinical information is to change the behaviour (of healthcare professionals, physicians, patients) to improve patient outcomes.
The roles available
Roles available across healthcare communications are generally split between client services: account management, and editorial: medical writing, editing and copywriting type roles. Increasingly, healthcare agencies also have an internal creative studio with designers, developers, art workers and digital specialists.
Salary and benefits
Entry level positions generally start around £22k-£25k and increase as the level of responsibility and diversity of knowledge increases. Benefits include bonus, healthcare and an opportunity to travel the world.
Skills and experience
You'll need a Bachelor's degree ideally in a life science, and for editorial roles an MSc or PhD is preferred. A genuine passion for healthcare, engaging communication skills and a strong team ethos will impress potential employers.
You'll need to be:
How to stand out
If you can demonstrate anything over and above sound academic achievements - such as awards (academic, professional, personal), publications, presentations, attendance at conferences, work experience and relevant hobbies such as scientific / health blog writing - then you'll be head and shoulders above the other candidates.
The career path
I see people moving within healthcare communications, from medical communications to advertising and PR, or from agency to in-house roles within pharmaceutical or a clinical research organisation. They can also transfer into roles in nutrition, consumer health or charities. There are plenty of opportunities available for someone in healthcare communications to develop professionally - the world is their oyster!
This article was first published in Pf Magazine, June 2019 edition.