The Irish Medtech Association, the Ibec group that represents the medtech sector, last week released a special report on Brexit and the Irish medtech sector.
With a ‘Brexit summit’ expected to be shortly announced in light of the risk of a ‘no-deal’ scenario, the group set-out a list of recommendations to protect medtech growth and ensure patient access to innovative technologies is not jeopardised in the negotiations.
Two-thirds of Irish Medtech members surveyed identified disruption of transit through the UK to the rest of the EU as the top Brexit concern. That’s along with half of companies saying they expect Brexit to negatively impact the cost of customs and the same number saying skills shortages in the areas of distribution, customs and logistics were a risk to their businesses.
The Association have cautioned against regulatory divergence which one in four Irish Medtech members have identified as a concern in a recent Ibec survey. The new Medical Devices and IVD Regulation being implemented now in stages will only come fully into effect after the Brexit deadline.
The UK played a key role in shaping the important Medical Device and IVD Regulations, since they were proposed in 2012. To now split the €110 billion European medtech market into two regulatory systems would be bad for business and patients alike, according to the Association.
Speaking last week, Irish Medtech Association Director, Sinead Keogh said, "We have been advocating for an outcome to talks that reflect the unique nature of the medtech industry and its role in delivering patient care. We need to minimise disruptions to existing supply chains with many raw materials and component parts originating or transiting through the UK leading to uncertainty as we look to the future."