Innovation in animal medicines must continue after EU departure

Measures must be in place to facilitate trade and innovation for animal medicines when the UK leaves the European Union. 

That was the message at the National Office of Animal Health’s (NOAH) board meeting on 1 November 2016.

“The UK must continue to be a vibrant and innovative animal health market, providing opportunities for animal medicines businesses to thrive,” said NOAH chair Cat Sayer.

“We are in a strong position in the UK to be a global centre of excellence for animal medicines, supporting both innovative product development and a regulatory model to benefit both local and international trade. We need to ensure that our industry’s needs and priorities are included in discussions on how the UK exit develops.”

Moving forward, UK regulation must emphasise product research and development, an area where companies are encouraged to do work within the UK, according to NOAH.

“The health and welfare of British animals, as well as our public health and food safety, need to be safeguarded – our vets and animal keepers need to continue to have access to a wide range of appropriate animal medicines,” continued Sayer.

“And we must not forget our people. The animal medicines industry has many highly skilled roles. Businesses will continue to need to be able to recruit the best.”

In the aftermath of the referendum results, NOAH created a Brexit Task Force consisting of its members. The aim is to identify the risks and challenges of leaving the EU across the whole animal medicines sector, including both UK and global company heads. The task force will voice members’ views and drive policy.

To ensure that the sector is included in any future government industrial strategy, the organisation is working with partners throughout the industry including veterinarians, human health experts, and agricultural representatives.

“In the UK consumers both encourage and expect high standards of animal welfare in food production and pet owners also want prompt and effective care,” concluded Sayer. “UK veterinary surgeons and animal owners need access to a full range of medicines and vaccines to protect animal welfare by preventing disease and treating illness effectively.”

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