The U.K.’s looming rupture with the EU threatens to slow goods at borders that are now wide open and force companies to duplicate regulatory efforts. Pfizer said in an email that its costs stem from transferring product testing and licenses to other countries, changing clinical trial management procedures, and other preventive measures.
The company is working “to meet EU legal requirements after the U.K. is no longer a member state, especially in the regulatory, manufacturing and supply-chain areas,” according to a filing last month where it cited the cost estimate.
Pfizer — which got about 2 percent of its $53bn in 2017 revenue from the U.K. — highlights the pharmaceutical industry’s dilemma as it braces for a rocky, no-deal Brexit. Uncertainty about the fallout has forced companies including AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline and U.S.-based Merck to prepare for a worst-case scenario. Hundreds of millions of pounds are being spent on getting ready that could have gone to developing new treatments, the head of an industry trade group said in June.
People and Products
Pharma companies around the world have long relied on their ability to move people and goods in and out of countries, and Britain’s departure from the EU could complicate many aspects of their operations. The U.K. Department of Health and Social Care last month told drugmakers to build six-week stockpiles of their products in preparation for potential shipping delays.
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