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The Pharmaceutical Tariff Elimination Agreement

10.In 2016, the United Kingdom exported 24.9 billion euros. PHARMACEUTICALs, including $11.9 billion (48%) went into the EU,22 a market of more than 446 million patients and potential consumers. , of which 18.2 billion pounds (73%) came from the EU, 24 The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) told us that this reflects «45 million packages of medicines that leave the UK each month to go to Europe and 37 million boxes of medicines that leave to reach the United Kingdom.25 , the Covid 19 pandemic appears to have become a perfect storm for the EU and other industrialized countries to accelerate the sustainable liberalisation of tariffs on pharmaceuticals and medical devices. 15.Access to medicines is a public good and a good thing for uk and EU businesses. World Health Organization studies show little or no use or justification for tariffs on pharmaceuticals, indicating that these tariffs produce less than 0.1% of global GDP, and with a few exceptions, tariffs do not appear to be structured in general to protect the local pharmaceutical industry.40 The global nature of the industry , with complex supply chains and public and political pressure on access to new and innovative medicines. , this means that we have not heard any evidence of a protectionist approach or tariffs. For British patients, generic brands and drugs are almost exclusively subject to purchasing decisions by the National Health Service, a facility with limited resources. In 2017, the NHS paid nearly $16 million in prescription drugs, an increase of 7 percent over the previous year.41 companies informed us that the rates would increase costs42, which could lead to higher bills for NHS drugs or a reduction in access to drugs. The Government has reaffirmed its desire to impose zero tariffs on trade in goods43 and must now do so.

Instead of lifting export restrictions on pharmaceuticals and medicines and improving the flexibility of TRIPS, the EU says that facilitating international trade in health products is helping to make supply chains more resilient and diversified and strengthening preparedness for future health shocks. International trade opportunities also encourage increased production in this sector, as companies can serve the global market and only the domestic market. Obtaining customs and import statistics for these products can be a complex task. Pharmaceutical active substances and chemical components used in the manufacture of finished pharmaceuticals do not have a common HS code (more than 270 SH sub-positions are listed at least once in the four annexes of the pharmaceutical agreement). In addition, chemicals such as carbon or chlorine can be traded and used for many purposes, not just for pharmaceutical production. Nevertheless, global imports of these substances have increased steadily over the past 25 years. During Uruguay, the signatories of the agreement pledged to update at least every three years the list of products covered by the agreement to include new active substances and intermediate products developed since the signing of the agreement. The second update came into effect in July 1999 (3), meaning that the third update (update III) should have been completed 18 months ago. Since the 1999 update, thousands of new products have been developed waiting to qualify for a zero tariff.

With the exception of China, India, Brazil and South Africa, most developing and least developed countries do not have production sites in the pharmaceutical and medical sectors, according to several studies and publications.

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