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Brexit and the pharmaceutical industry

Brexit and the pharmaceutical industry

The four and a half months that have passed since Britain voted to leave the EU have been a time of uncertainty and turmoil for many of Britain's biggest industries. However, it wouldn't be unfair to assume that pharmaceutical companies could make it through Brexit relatively unscathed. Big hitters including GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and AstraZeneca (AZN) witnessed rising share prices in the wake of the referendum, their high dollar-based earnings serving them well as the pound crashed.

But aside from the short-terms gains for big pharma, the country's future departure from the EU presents long-term challenges for the entirety of the sector which were outlined in a recent report by think-tank Public Policy Projects. Former health secretary Stephen Dorrell, who led the report, thinks life sciences - as one of the nation's biggest industries - should play a prominent role in Brexit negotiations. He warned that leaving the EU could have a damaging influence on the country's contribution to science as well as its pharma and biotech companies.

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