Eurovision: Brexit reactions from across pharma

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Deborah Wyatt, Director, talkhealth

The pharma industry has been quick to react despite, historically, being largely immune from the effects of economic turmoil – people will always need medicines and life-saving drugs. The referendum, however, has increased concern over the future of industry, and the NHS as it struggles to deliver services and balance the books.

Medics, and those involved in life sciences, fear Brexit will have a negative impact in the long term. The EU has provided the UK with access to funds from programmes, such as Horizon 2020. With these funds potentially disappearing, where will future funding come from? Brexit has left the industry with much to ponder, many unanswered questions and an unpredictable future.


Andy Waiton, Marketing Director & Head of The Excel Academy

The 24th June, many have said, should be known as our own ‘Independence Day’! On the morning of the 25th June the offices of Excel Communications were not celebratory. Nobody in the office voted for Brexit and I can honestly say that I don’t know anyone who did. Words that came to mind were sad, disappointed, angry and, above all – how and why?

In the short term I don’t think much will change with our business, but we just don’t know. Our business has become increasingly European and Global, so we do worry about the fall out. When it comes to the pharma industry I don’t think that it will be adversely affected, but won’t the CEOs of big pharma think twice about where they invest – will they choose a country outside the EU?

And what about the NHS? We were immediately told that the golden handshake of £350M wasn’t true. We all know that the NHS is a bottomless pit, anyway, and no amount of money will suddenly make things right.  I hope things will stay the same, but I do worry for my kids and grandkids.


Emma Morton, Senior Media Strategist, Ruder Finn

UK pharma beamed a bold ‘Open as usual’ media message following Brexit. Here at Ruder Finn UK, we don’t see this as a smokescreen to allay investor concerns, but a confident industry’s response to shifting sands.

Britain’s pharmaceutical companies are truly global-facing. They can use the spotlight to renew commitments to innovation and tell the world about their research pipelines across every channel, while reminding the nation that our medicines and the knowledge of our home-grown scientists are in demand throughout Asia, Africa and the Americas.

Brexit could increase drug trial and manufacturing costs so, at this time, strong internal communications are vital for firms to maintain workforce and market confidence. Organisations are already navigating the best path through this uncertain period, securing their talent pools and patient access to existing medicines.