Drug regulators across Europe are hiring extra staff and increasing their workload as the role of British experts in the EU-wide system of medicines supervision winds down ahead of Brexit.
AstraZeneca is increasing stockpiles of those medicines in Britain and Europe that could be affected by Brexit by around 20 percent, in preparation for potential disruption if the UK crashes out of the EU without a deal.
Drugmakers are racing to implement Brexit contingency plans to prepare for a jolt to their regulatory system as the EMA is uprooted from London to Amsterdam.
Supplies of thousands of medicines are at risk of disruption if Britain leaves the European Union without a trade deal, forcing manufacturers to prepare for duplicate product testing to ensure their drugs stay on the market.
Former GlaxoSmithKline boss Andrew Witty is to lead a new British scheme to accelerate access to ground-breaking medicines for conditions such as cancer, dementia and diabetes from April 2018, the government announced.
Britain’s biggest drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline is moving ahead with Brexit contingency planning “right now,” including preparing a system to test drugs in the European Union if Britain crashes out of the bloc without a trade deal.
Access to new medicines and safety checks on existing treatments will be jeopardized if politicians pick a new home for Europe’s London-based drugs regulator that is unacceptable to staff, its executive director told Reuters.
Picking Amsterdam, Barcelona or Vienna as the new headquarters of Europe’s drugs regulator after Brexit would be the best option for retaining staff, according to a survey of its workers.
Europe’s drugs regulator could lose more than 70 percent of staff, making it unable to function, if politicians pick the wrong new home for the London-based agency, it warned on Tuesday.
The British government has rekindled its industrial strategy, unveiled earlier in 2017 to prepare the economy for Brexit, with plans to boost the country’s pharmaceuticals sector via fresh investments and public-private collaborations.