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A bitter pill to swallow - European Medicines Agency moves away

The announcement of the relocation of the European Medicines Agency to Amsterdam today is bad news for the East of England's pharmaceutical sector and the NHS warned Labour MEP Alex Mayer.

The relocation of the EMA will mean the loss of 900 jobs, a £285 million budget and investment from pharmaceutical companies who site proximity to the EMA for choosing the UK as a base.

The pharmaceutical industry is the backbone of the broader life sciences sector, which has a turnover of more than £60 billion a year.

Ms Mayer said: "Losing the EMA is a bitter pill to swallow. Not only will experienced staff lose their jobs but I fear a knock on effect in the thriving pharmaceutical industry. In a global market it does not take much to change future investment decisions and for companies to choose to relocate elsewhere. especially in Cambridge, Stevenage and Harlow's past success is not future proofed.

We also await answers from the Government about how medicines will be regulated post-Brexit. We don't want to see delays like in Canada and Australia, where drugs are regulated nationally and new medicines come to market between six months and a year later than in Europe.

Our NHS will suffer. Our successful pharmaceutical industry will suffer. But most of all, patients will suffer, from delays and the potential loss of access to medicines and research, if we are to crash out of the EU with a Hard Tory Brexit that leaves us outside the EMA altogether. It's a far cry from the extra £350 million a week we were promised for the NHS”

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