If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, £1.1bn worth of parallel trade into the UK market should be able to continue, under the principle of exhaustion of patent and trademark rights, under WTO rules, although exports will cease, according to the British Association of European Parallel Distributors (BAEPD). Trade would continue as now in the event a Brexit deal.
Association secretary general Richard Freudenberg told the Sigma Conference this week that a 'no deal Brexit' would also mean that medicines subject to authorisation by the European Medicines Agency - approximately half of all medicines - will no longer be available to the UK market. However, the MHRA is currently grandfathering EMA market authorisations across, so they will continue to be available.
The BAEPD has 17 members, responsible for 70 per cent of PI sales in the UK, and 80 per cent of repackaging of PI medicines. The total value of parallel trade across the EU has been relatively flat for the past seven years, at around €5.5bn, and represents diminishing proportion of the total EU pharma market, down from 3.6 per cent in 2010 to 2.7 per cent in 2017. Over 40m PI packs were imported in 2017, at an average value of €27.50.
Mr Freudenberg said that BAEPD started to develop its own solution for FMD in 2016 and all BAEPD members were now FMD-ready and all products coming into the market now would be FMD-compliant.