Could Dublin, Ireland Be The Post-2018 “Brexit” Home — For The European Medicines Agency?

Overnight, I ran across a very good PharmaLetter story from last week, while catching up on my more general Brexit reading list. [Background here, as well as here and here.]

It sets out the (quite accurate, in my view) narrative that Ireland is far more than just some sleepy tax haven — for big pharma and bioscience companies (same is true of tech, naturally). In doing so, the author mentions that my long lost cousins in Cork, just an hour’s train ride north of Dublin, are formally bidding to have the HQ for the European version of the FDA — called the EMAA — move to what will be the last English speaking nation in the EU, if Britain ultimately does formally exit, post 2018 (likely around April 2019, according to Prime Minister May).

Importantly, such regulatory relations and the resulting negotiations — with the US, and increasingly, China — are primarily conducted in English. Even by the Chinese — soon to be the world’s largest western medicines market (circa 2020). So this all becomes rather. . . intriguing. Still — it is only an outline of an idea — but exciting for the Emerald Isle’s future, nonetheless. Here’s a bit — do go read it all:

. . .The figures relating to many of those pharma majors’ [Irish operations] are. . . impressive: US giant Merck & Co. alone has more than 2,000 staff across six Irish sites where it manufactures most of its global top 20 products, having invested a total of 2.2 billion euros into Ireland.

The importance of Ireland to the industry –- and of the industry to Ireland –- are as evident as ever right now with the announcement of a total of 1,200 jobs new pharma last week, a week when UK-based biopharma company GE Healthcare revealed it was investing 150 million euros in a manufacturing site near Cork, and when the government confirmed it would be submitting a bid for Dublin to host the European Medicines Agency following the Brexit vote. . . .

“A lot of people are nervous about Brexit — but I think this is a great opportunity for Ireland. We’re the only English-speaking country left in the European Union when Britain does leave, if they leave. There’s a good chance that the Chinese, for example, will speak English, so when companies are looking for a European base, English will probably be quite helpful. . . .”

Of course, we will keep our sharpest eyes on this, just as I adoringly but vigilantly gaze upon the infant now “sawing toothpicks” — at the edge of the couch, as I type this. There is nothing more peaceful than watching a baby sleep, and hearing the nearly imperceptible, but steady rhythm of the rise and fall of their small lungs taking the cool Fall night air in and out. . . . smile. Sleep well, one and all. . . .



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