In the Pipeline's Derek Lowe says Novartis and Roche are employing some "hardball negotiating" in their fight with the UK government over drug pricing and clinical trial regulations. Last week, the Guardian reported that the two companies threatened to pull their research and development departments out of the UK, a move that could put as many as 5,000 people out of work. Lowe asks who benefits from this move. The news was made public through a leak, so if it came from the companies, it could be a tactic to pressure the government even more. On the other hand, if the leak came from Britain's National Health Service, the purpose could be to make the companies look bad. Either way, he says, "I think it's unlikely that this would be followed through — but neither is it completely impossible, either, which is what makes it a reasonably effective move."
Norvatis and Roche to UK: We Might Quit You
Apr 14, 2010