Reacting to the Government’s document on the UK’s approach to trade deals with non-EU nations, Warwick Smith, Director General of the British Generic Manufacturers Association (BGMA) and the British Biosimilar Association (BBA), said: “Liz Truss has now set out the countries the UK is prioritising for a free trade agreement, which in addition to the EU, are the US, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. The International Trade Secretary outlined that in seeking a trade deal with the US, the UK Government will seek to maintain a balanced global intellectual property framework; and that the NHS will not be on the table, nor the price it pays for drugs.
“The BGMA welcomes these sentiments. However, it is critical to the interests of the NHS and patients that the Government will not accept any US proposals to change patent or exclusivity provisions that could delay the entry of generic and biosimilar medicines to the UK market. The entry of one biosimilar medicine has saved the NHS £400m in its first year so any delay would cost the NHS dear. Resisting any such change would deliver on the Conservative Party election manifesto. The UK’s current intellectual property provisions balance the needs of the NHS and innovators, and should be maintained.”