Trump’s U.K. visit sparks plans for mass protests—and dinner invites for GSK, J&J CEOs: FT

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U.S. President Donald Trump plans to visit London next week. Pharma CEOs have reportedly been invited to attend a dinner with Trump and U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May. (Pixabay)

As officials on both sides of the Atlantic prepare for President Donald Trump's visit to the U.K. next week—and amid plans for mass protests while he’s there—some Big Pharma CEOs have been invited to a black-tie dinner with Trump and Prime Minister Theresa May, according to the Financial Times.  

Among the slate of multinational executives invited are Johnson & Johnson CEO Alex Gorsky and GlaxoSmithKline CEO Emma Walmsley, the newspaper reports. The location of the dinner has not been released, but some sources told the FT they're expecting it to take place in Blenheim Palace, a lavish estate near Oxford and the birthplace of Winston Churchill.

But some business leaders say they’re skeptical the gathering will go forward, according to the report.

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Mass protests are expected during Trump's "working visit,” according to numerous publications. The president's official appearance will come right on the heels of a NATO summit and right before a meeting between Trump and Russian president Vladimir Putin. 

Representatives for GSK and J&J didn't immediately respond to requests for more information.

In the U.S., Trump's administration recently unveiled a plan to lower drug costs by stepping up pricing negotiations and competition—from new generics and brands alike—as well as providing incentives for lower list prices and helping to lower patients' out-of-pocket costs.  

RELATED: U.K.'s National Health Service scrambles to prepare for 'hard Brexit' 

Meanwhile, Brexit continues to grow closer in the U.K., and drugmakers are reportedly deploying plans to mitigate potential supply issues ahead of the March 2019 separation deadline. Merck & Co., for instance, reportedly plans to stockpile a six-month supply of drugs to hedge against shipping complications.  

As part of the Brexit separation, the European Medicines Agency is relocating its headquarters to Amsterdam, taking with it 900 jobs and an estimated economic impact of $1 billion.

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