Arnold & Porter’s Future Pharma Forum invites you to a complimentary competition/antitrust seminar aimed at junior lawyers and professionals new to the UK/EU life sciences industry. This seminar will provide a refresher of key EU and UK competition law topics, cover some key issues from an in-house practitioner’s perspective and touch on the implications of
The UK Government published today details of the temporary tariff regime that will apply from 11pm on 29 March 2019 if the UK leaves the European Union (EU) without a deal (see here). This is being published ahead of the vote in Parliament on no deal to ensure that the members of parliament are well informed.
The new regime is temporary, and the government intends to closely monitor the effects of these trade tariffs on the UK economy. It would apply for up to 12 months while a full consultation and review on a permanent approach to tariffs are undertaken.
On 20 February 2019, the English High Court delivered its eagerly awaited judgment in Canary Wharf v EMA  EWHC 334 (Ch), rejecting the EMA’s argument that the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union would amount to a frustrating event allowing it to terminate its lease of premises in London.
What is frustration
Under English law, frustration allows a contract to be set aside on the basis of an unforeseen event which renders the contractual rights and/or obligations radically different to those contemplated by the parties at the time the contract was entered into. A successful claim for frustration allows the claimant to terminate the contract immediately and discharges its future liabilities.
The dispute between Canary Wharf and EMA centred around EMA’s £500 million, 25-year lease of commercial premises in Canary Wharf. The lease restricted assignment of the property to a new tenant, and also included onerous subletting provisions.
The EMA argued that its lease would be frustrated by Brexit because remaining in the Canary Wharf premises following the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union would be illegal under Regulation (EU) 2018/1718 (the 2018 Regulation), which required it relocate its headquarters to Amsterdam. Once it had relocated, the EMA would be left paying rent for a property which the 2018 Regulation prohibited it from using, and which it could not assign or sublet under the terms of the lease.
As a New Year present to us all, on 3 January 2019, the MHRA published updated guidance on the regulation of medicines, medical devices and clinical trials in the event that the UK leaves the EU on 29 March 2019 without a deal, known as a “hard Brexit”.
Following publication of the technical notice in August 2018, which we considered in an earlier blog, a consultation was launched in order to seek views on the mechanics behind some of the proposals. The consultation ended on 1 November 2018; the responses were reviewed and the technical notice updated. However, the notice states in a number of places that further guidance will be published in due course.
Arnold & Porter’s Future Pharma Forum invites you to a complimentary regulatory seminar aimed at junior lawyers and new joiners in the UK/EU life sciences industry. We will provide a comprehensive introduction to key EU regulatory law topics from an in-house practitioner’s perspective and touch on the implications of Brexit.
- Overview of the EU
On 28 November 2018, the UK Government published draft secondary legislation changing UK intellectual property law relating to exhaustion of IP rights to deal with Brexit. The aim is to ensure that the doctrine of EEA-wide exhaustion continues to apply in the UK post-Brexit, irrespective of whether there is a deal or a no-deal Brexit.
What is exhaustion?
As summarised in the explanatory memorandum, the exhaustion rule prevents the holder of an intellectual property right from using that right to stop the importation of a product into an EU country where it has been lawfully placed on the market in another country in the European Economic Area (EEA). In other words, an IP holder cannot use its IP rights to prevent parallel import (sometimes called grey imports) of goods from within the EEA. Unless the law is changed, this will not apply after Brexit, because the UK will no longer be part of the EEA. The proposed legislation seeks to change this so that exhaustion still applies to any goods brought into the UK, provided they have been placed on an EEA market with the IP owner’s consent. This will apply irrespective of whether there is a Brexit deal or not, and it is intended that this comes into effect on Brexit-day, if approved by Parliament.
In July, we considered the implications of the UK Government’s Brexit White paper, setting out its proposals for the UK’s ongoing relationship with the EU post-Brexit and how this would apply to the supply and manufacture of medicinal products and medical devices. Acknowledging the need for a contingency plan if no agreement can be reached, the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has now published guidance entitled “How medicines, medical devices and clinical trials would be regulated if there’s no Brexit deal“. Below, we set out the key points arising from that guidance.
The regulation of medicines and medical devices in the UK is currently subject to both EU and UK legislation and oversight. For example, in relation to medicinal products, Directive 2001/83 and Regulation 726/2004, which govern marketing and supply in the EU, are implemented into UK law by the Human Medicines Regulations 2012 (HMR). For medical devices, Directives 93/42 (on medical devices), 98/79 (on in vitro medical devices) and 90/385 (on active implantable medical devices) set out the regulations in the EU, and are implemented in the UK through the Medical Devices Regulations 2002 (MDR). In addition, the new Regulations 2017/745 (on medical devices) and 2017/746 (on in vitro medical devices) will apply from 2020 and 2022, respectively.
In the event of a no-deal Brexit, full regulatory authority will pass to the UK, and the European legislation will cease to apply to the UK on 29 March 2019 (exit day), although UK legislation that implements EU law will remain in force. Under the EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018 (EUWA), all existing EU rules will be converted into UK law at the moment of exit to the extent they are not already part of UK law.
Last week, MedTech Europe, the European trade association representing the medical technology industries, published a position paper calling on the European Commission, Parliament and EU Member States to extend the transition period under the Medical Devices Regulations (the MDR and the IVDR). As mentioned in one of our earlier blogs, the MDR and IVDR are due to take effect on 26 May 2020 and 26 May 2022 respectively. The position paper explains that the medical technology industry has “significant concerns” about the state of implementation of the Regulations, and the fact that if products are not re-certified before the date of application of the Regulations, they will not be able to be placed on the market, and the industry will be unable to provide life-saving and life-transforming products to patients.…
Yesterday, the UK Government finally published its White Paper setting out its position on the UK’s continued relationship with the EU post-Brexit. Theresa May has said it “delivers on the Brexit people voted for”, although others in Parliament disagree. While at a very early stage of the negotiations, and with no real indication of how the European Commission has received the White Paper, other than that it represents important progress for focusing the further discussions, we set out below the key points for the supply and manufacture of medicinal products and medical devices after Brexit.
In January 2018, the European Medicines Agency (the EMA), as part of its Brexit preparations, launched a survey to gather information from companies on their Brexit preparedness plans, and to identify concerns that may impact public or animal health. The results of the study were published earlier this week.