How Could Scottish Independence Impact Life Sciences Compliance?

By Greg Hawley

Impact Life Sciences ComplianceThe world this week is eagerly waiting to hear whether Scots will vote for independence on Thursday. With polls currently too close to call, people inside and out of the UK are asking themselves “what if?” and what would be the impact of Scottish independence to their lives and their industries?

The question could also apply to the world of life sciences compliance, in a variety of ways. If the vote passes (with an expected official split in March 2016), would interactions with Scottish HCPs and HCOs continue to be governed by ABPI rules, or will a Scottish EFPIA member association be set up to fill the void? Would disclosure of Scottish HCP/O spend have to be separated from the rest of UK HCP spend in the first EFPIA disclosure report, due in June 2016? Will the Scottish Parliament, which is known to be consistently more liberal than its counterpart in London, use its newfound powers to impose national law rules similar to those in France and other countries?

Questions extend beyond transparency. For example, will companies feel the need to establish new Scotland-specific fair market value rates? Average wages in Scotland are lower than in the UK overall, though only slightly; it remains to be seen if the data justifies FMV modifications.

Should the vote come out for independence, we will investigate in more detail the various implications that companies should consider.