Relocation of European Medicines Agency seen creating extra administrative hurdles for drugmakers

The association representing Germany's pharmaceutical industry said Friday that the UK's decision to leave the EU will create extra administrative burdens for drugmakers with the possible relocation of the European Medicines Agency from London. "The administrative hurdles that we are now facing as a result of Great Britain's exit from the Union will require great efforts on the part of our member companies," the association noted.

However, an EMA spokeswoman said it was "too early to foresee the implications of this decision and at this stage we are waiting for further guidance from the European Commission." Earlier this month, industry officials in Denmark, Italy and Sweden presented cases for their respective countries to serve as the new home of the EMA. However, the agency's executive director Guido Rasi has previously said that he has no preference as to where the regulator should move to.

Meanwhile, in response to the news, GlaxoSmithKline said the exit vote by the UK "creates uncertainty and potentially complexity for us in the future," although the company suggested that the impact on its global business would be small. Analysts expect that in the short term, GlaxoSmithKline will get a boost to earnings from a weaker UK currency.

Separately on Friday, the head of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry Mike Thompson said that the decision by the UK to leave the EU "creates immediate challenges for future investment, research and jobs in our industry in the UK." For related analysis, see Spotlight On: Majority of UK physicians polled by FirstWord think exit from EU will have negative implications for healthcare provision.

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