US pharma and biotech lobbyists' documents reveal their plan to gouge Britons in any post-Brexit trade-deal

Both Phrma (the lobby for the global pharmaceutical industry) and Biotechnology Innovation Organization (biotech lobbyists) provided letters to a US-UK government meeting to discuss post-Brexit trade terms, in which both organisations called for substantially higher British prices for essential medicines after Brexit.

They joined a chorous of lobbyists from other US industries (pork, grains, etc) to sell products to the UK that are currently considered unfit for purpose, such as pork raised with high levels of antibiotics or grains treated with dangerous pesticides.

In three days, Britons will go to the polls to elect a new government. Boris Johnson's Tories have called for a "hard Brexit" with no ongoing special relationship with the EU, which will leave the UK in desperate need of trade with the USA, and thus vulnerable to industry demands to make trade deals that tie the British government's hands on safety and health.

I am a member of the Labour Party and a donor to Jeremy Corbyn's campaign.

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, the lobby group that represents the largest drugmakers in the world, insisted that any U.S.-U.K. deal "must recognize that prices of medicines should be based on a variety of value criteria." PhRMA called for changes in the way the U.K.'s National Health Service sets price controls through comparative effectiveness research, an effort to control the costs of drugs using clinical research.

The Biotechnology Innovation Organization, a lobby group for the biopharmaceutical industry, made similar demands in a letter to trade officials for the U.K., calling to do more in "shouldering a fair share of the costs of innovation." BIO suggests that in order to ensure fair treatment for drugmakers, companies should have the right to petition an "independent body" to overrule decisions made by the NHS.

U.S. Lobbyists Seek Brexit Deal That Raises Drug Prices, Shreds Consumer Safeguards [Lee Fang/The Intercept]