Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Post-Brexit EU drug regulation deal urged by ministers

The UK will continue to co-operate with the European Union on medicine testing after it leaves the bloc, two senior ministers have suggested.

Business Secretary Greg Clark and Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said such a deal would be "in the interests of public health and safety".

"The UK would like to find a way to continue to collaborate with the EU," they wrote in a Financial Times letter.

There are fears Brexit may cause delays in UK patients getting new drugs.

Currently the London-based European Medicines Agency (EMA) authorises drugs for use across the EU, including the UK.
However, it is expected to move out of the UK after Brexit, raising uncertainty over whether the UK will need to develop its own separate drug approval system.

Industry experts have warned that if this happens pharmaceutical firms could be slower to seek permission for their drugs to be used in just one country, focusing instead on getting their drugs approved for larger, more lucrative markets.

The UK pharmaceuticals trade association has also warned that Brexit could undermine future investment, research and jobs in the country.

But speaking on the BBC's Today programme, the UK managing director of US drugs giant Pfizer, Erik Nordkamp, said there were other issues than Brexit that the industry wanted to see addressed.

"The letter in the FT this morning is significant... because it acknowledges there are some risks that need to be addressed with regulation, with trade, but at the same time the government needs to address the long-standing issues that are there."

BBC    News.

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