Sam Beale, marketing and communications manager for Purolite® Life Sciences, a manufacturer of resin-based products for the pharmaceutical industry, talked to GEN about their preparations for the U.K. leaving the EU.
GEN: There’s obviously a lot of geopolitical uncertainty around Brexit. How are you supporting customers who may, for example, be running continuous processes to ensure their supplies of resins?
Beale: We know that patients’ lives depend on biopharmaceutical treatments, so ensuring reliable availability of our products is of paramount importance. As such we have a real-world security-of-supply system in place. We benefit from four global manufacturing facilities (in the U.K., United States, Romania, and China) and over 50 sales office locations, which gives us access to strategic warehousing locations around the globe. Our security-of-supply program ensures we hold sufficient finished product so customers can continue their production for at least 12 months. Regarding our own key raw material suppliers, at any one time we stock 24 months of material, enabling us to continue manufacturing agarose resins and ensuring continuous production demands are met.
GEN: How have you changed your processes to respond to geopolitical uncertainty, e.g., around imports?
Beale: We have conducted a full Brexit analysis internally, involving our global logistics, supply chain, and regulatory experts, to ensure a robust system for any likely outcome, with measures taken in line with U.K. Government guidelines and also from trade associations like the BioIndustry Association (BIA). We have also registered for the Transitional Simplified Procedures scheme to ensure import of goods can be conducted in a smooth and orderly fashion. Naturally, we have also consulted with our transport suppliers to put procedures in place for import and export of EU goods.
GEN: Has the recent general election result changed anything in terms of your plans around supplies/logistics, etc.?
Beale: Since Brexit became a reality, we’ve been proactive in taking necessary steps to ensure continuous supply irrespective of the terms under which Britain leaves the EU. There are over 5,600 life sciences companies in the U.K. alone, making it a top global hub for life sciences investment, and number one in Europe. As such, we have full confidence to make long-term business decisions around R&D investment, recruitment, and continued manufacturing expansion. With Brexit, the way forward is clear, with science and innovation considerations forming key areas of the withdrawal agreement, so we believe the U.K. will remain a strong, positive force in global life sciences, enabling companies such as Purolite, GSK, FUJIFILM, and Lonza to flourish.