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UK drug companies get jittery over Brexit

The UK has become a less attractive place for pharmaceutical research because of the uncertainty caused by Brexit, the managing director of drug company MSD in the Netherlands has told Research Fortnight.

Kaja Natland says Brexit and the move of the European Medicines Agency from London to Amsterdam in 2019 will not lead to a flurry of drug manufacturers leaving the UK. But there will be long-term consequences as companies seek stablity, she says. “R&D in pharma is a long-term process. From discovery to regulatory approval [it] might take 10 to 15 years. That’s why stability and predictability are very important to us,” she said.

As the UK becomes potentially less attractive, the Netherlands—with its proximity to the EMA—becomes more so. “I do think that when companies are making investment decisions for the future, the Netherlands becomes more prominent on the map,” Natland said.

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