What We're Reading: How Brexit Could Impact Drug Regulation

What we're reading, June 24, 2016: Britain's decision to leave the European Union will impact drug regulation; Supreme Court decision derails California proposal to allow illegal immigrants to buy health insurance; and lawmakers look to reduce exclusivity period for biologics.

Britain has opted to leave the European Union (EU), which can impact drug regulation in the United Kingdom and the EU. The European Medicines Agency approves treatments for all EU countries, but is based in London, and now it is expected to have to relocate, reported Reuters. There is uncertainty about the exact effect that Britain leaving the EU will have on the EU’s drug approval process, but now Britain may have to develop its own regulatory system.

The Supreme Court’s decision to block President Obama’s immigration programs will impact legislation in California. According to the Los Angeles Times, California legislators have been fighting to offer health insurance to people living in the country illegally, but the new ruling stalls those efforts. If the program had been implemented, 621,000 people could have qualified for Medi-Cal, but instead as many as 1.5 million of the state’s illegal immigrants could remain uninsured. This population will represent approximately half of California’s total uninsured population.

A lawmaker is looking to reduce the exclusivity period for expensive biologic medicines. A new bill would shorten the exclusive amount of time companies have for biologics from 12 years to just 7 years, reported STAT. The purpose of the legislation is to allow biosimilars to be marketed sooner in an attempt to reduce healthcare expenses in the United States. A bill was introduced by a Democrat in the House on Thursday, and 2 Republicans are expected to introduce a companion bill in the Senate.