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EU warned over drugs

THE chief of Europe's drug industry has written to EU leaders ahead of their summit, looking for concessions to ensure that the sector can continue to export pharmaceuticals to crisis-hit countries, such as Ireland and Spain.

Drug companies want special measures to prevent discounts offered in southern Europe and Ireland from being exported to rich states. GlaxoSmithKline chief executive Andrew Witty said a failure to do so could undermine a sector that provides 660,000 European jobs.

He said the cost of pharmaceuticals in Ireland and other bailout states should not be included in a European basket of prices, which health services across Europe use to determine how much they should pay for drugs.