GSK says EU pharma legislation overhaul could trigger investment shift


GSK says EU pharma legislation overhaul could trigger investment shift

By Maggie Fick and Natalie Grove

LONDON, April 26 (Reuters) – British drugmaker GSK on Wednesday warned that the overhaul of laws governing the EU’s pharmaceuticals industry risks forcing companies to invest and innovate elsewhere, which would hurt EU efforts to improve access to medicines.

GSK Chief Executive Emma Walmsley told reporters on a quarterly earnings call that the European Union must “regulate for growth and competitiveness” because her company and others “have choices on where our capital and resources are focused”.

The European Commission will publish its long-awaited draft on Wednesday, detailing the biggest overhaul of medical laws in 20 years. The Commission has said the reforms aim to tackle unequal access to medicines across Europe while retaining the region’s competitiveness for pharma companies developing and bringing new treatments to market.

Walmsley said the industry shared the EU’s goal of improving access to medicines for all Europeans and that the region was critical to GSK’s R&D and manufacturing.

Updates to the bloc’s regulatory system are needed, she said. However, pressure to weaken market exclusivity protections could discourage companies from researching and launching treatments in Europe, she added.

European biotech lobby Europabio said changes to protections before generic versions of drugs enter the market could also make it harder for biopharma startups to raise money for research and development.

Reporting by Maggie Fick and Natalie Grover Editing by David Goodman

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Source: Reuters