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How Brexit Affect the Pharmaceutical Sales Industry in the UK

Guest post by Charlotte Johnson contributor at Changes Clinic

The pharmaceutical sales industry has not been scared to voice its opinion on the matter of Brexit and how the UK leaving the European Union could affect the entire industry.

This particular concern stems from the possibility of the United Kingdom leaving the EU, without a deal. Then, with the insistent changes and possible ideas being thrown around by the political parties, when it comes to the pharmaceutical industry, there can only be a feeling of fear for those who have already begun their career in medicine. 

In this article, we will discuss all the possible outcomes of Brexit and how they can affect the pharmaceutical industry in the upcoming years.

The Regulation Of Medicines

One question that is speculated throughout the medical industry is the process that will be put into place for the testing and approval of pharmaceuticals before they are put out and distributed to local hospitals, surgeries, and pharmacies. 

The main problem eludes from the removal of the MHRA from the European Medicines Agency, a corporation that oversees product testing and will confirm whether such can be accessible. By leaving the EU, the MHRA has been removed from this and will have to take matters into their own hands.

The states are extremely high in the UK when it comes to ensuring a quality regulation system is in place, as it is pivotal that the process includes proper product testing. If it is not, that could be the difference between someone surviving a life-threatening illness or not.

Drug Shortages

Within the shipping of goods around the world, particularly in the UK, pharmaceutical products make up a considerable amount that are both exported to and from the United Kingdom. After Brexit, there may be issues when it comes to the freedom of movement available, and just who and where can export the pharmaceutical products. 

This is a particular problem for the UK, as some specifically used drugs are not manufactured here, such as insulin, due to the difficulty in making and storing it. 

Businesses are already beginning to experience the trials and tribulations of the Brexit backlash within the medical industry. This can be seen with companies such as Chemist 4U facing struggles in accessing particular medicines such as contraceptives, Psychiatric and epileptic medication.

The worry with this is the fact that we are yet to leave the EU, and shortages are already being faced. Concluding with clarity, that we will face some sort of shortages in the future unless a reputable trading deal is put into place. 

With the supply and demand chain within the pharmaceutical industry suggested to be rather complicated, it is said that when one thing goes wrong, it can implement a series of unfortunate events for the rest of the chain.

For example, the Naproxen case, being used to treat inflammatory diseases, but only leading to one of the medicine’s active ingredients having an issue, causing a worldwide shortage of the naproxen drug, a roll of effect. 

Careers In Pharmaceuticals 

Not only is the issue based upon the UK being able to get their hands on life-changing medicines, but it’s also for those who can work within the industry. Because of the looming seriousness of the possible laws put in place between those who can and cannot work within the EU, the industry is worried about the talent they will be able to attract.

With the smartest pharmacists coming from all over the world, the UK could see a drop in development rates due to not having the extensive intelligence they once had, and therefore face even further issues when it comes to owning and handling any drugs at all. 

AI In Pharmaceuticals

With the lack of potential careers being faced within the medical industry, we may soon see a decrease in advancements used that ultimately benefit the production and manufacturing of medicines, that make up the £30 billion industry

Artificial intelligence has many benefits within the medical industry. It works by performing tasks through automated algorithms that would normally be performed by that of a human doctor. Artificial intelligence has worked in a way that has allowed physicists to develop a way to develop new medicines, help treat diseases, and conduct research further into the way the human body works.  

A study conducted by Verdict AI asked a series of professionals how important they believe AI is within the medical industry. Findings discovered that over 70% agree that it is a groundbreaking development that will become an invaluable addition within the pharmaceutical industry.  

With 61% of companies investing a lot of time and money into their own development of in house strategies, allowing them to use AI to find opportunities that would likely have been missed by the human eye. It is imperative that the UK can keep up with this, even after leaving the EU.

With foreign careers being pushed away, and drugs on a possible shortage, the UK may not have the willpower or the money, to be able to develop further into the artificial intelligence industry, like everyone else. 


There is huge speculation surrounding the possible issues that the United Kingdom will face when Brexit is concluded, and we have long left the EU.

With the biggest worries surrounding whether or not a no-deal occurs, the shipment of medicines around the world, and a potential drug shortage could be two of the worst outcomes of Brexit. By being able to adhere to new rules and regulations to work in a way that sustains the medical confidence we have while still in the European Union, will be one of the biggest challenges faced within the industry. As well as the looming realization that decisions made could be the difference as to whether or not lives are saved.

Charlotte Johnson is a regular contributor to Changes Clinic, specializing in both non-surgical and surgical treatments. With experience writing about EVLA, Varicose Vein treatments and the dangers of Unqualified Botox Treatments, Changes aims to educate and offer a specialist service to all patients.