A time when the health service is drawing up risky, but vital, plans for fundamental change, would not at first sight seem ideal to call a snap general election. Added to that the country is now preparing to go to the polls at a crucial time for local reconfiguration plans and NHS service change, which will certainly make it interesting to see how ‘health’ plays out as an election issue over the coming weeks.
Meanwhile, industry-side the widely-held expectation is that reforms to NICE (see page 7) will further reduce NHS access to new medicines – an area where the country is already outpaced by its peers in Europe.
But this is not shaping up to be an election about the NHS or health or access to medicines; it’s going to be the Brexit election. Should the outcome of the vote be moves towards a ‘hard Brexit’ we can help you prepare for that outcome (see page 20), but be warned, while ‘soft Brexit’ will not be a walk in the park, the alternative will raise a higher number of pressure points for pharma.
In January, the prime minister, Theresa May, warned the EU that “no deal for Britain is better than a bad deal” when it comes to Brexit. Although her government is now edging away from that position, the statement raised the question of what no deal would actually mean for the pharma industry