Monday, 17 October 2016

Unforeseen Brexit threat to NHS

The Guardian's political science web page highlights a probable threat to the European Medicines Agency based in London. Unlike most of the bad news in the national media about the NHS, there would be an impact on the devolved health services in Scotland and Wales as well as in England.

The writer suggests that we could see delays to the approval of new medicines, that the EMA’s headquarters would move elsewhere within the EU creating a knock-on effect on future investment and relocation decisions by global and European pharmaceutical companies, and that losing the EMA could lead to a significant brain drain.

These considerations did not figure in the public debate leading to the EU exit referendum, but would have more serious implications for ordinary people than other matters which made the headlines. (The moneyed behind both campaigns would not be affected because they largely have private health insurance or can shop around for treatment.) It is probable that there are other hitherto hidden benefits of our EU membership which will come to light in the months before Mrs May intends to make use of the royal prerogative to invoke article 50.

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