This week’s decision to relocate the European Medicines Agency to Amsterdam has been greeted as the least damaging outcome for the European Union’s medicines regulator, which must leave London by the end of March 2019.
Natasha Pearman, a competition lawyer at law firm Mischcon de Reya told pharmaphorum that all eyes are on the government and its handling of Brexit negotiations, and whether it is able to agree on transitional arrangements.
Pearman said: “The decision between Amsterdam or Milan is unlikely to have a material impact on the UK life sciences sector. The real issue that arises with the loss of the EMA is the loss of influence that the UK, specifically via the MHRA, had on medicines regulation within Europe.”
The worry for the life sciences industry is the UK’s status as a “third country”, potentially lagging behind the rest of Europe when it comes to approving and getting access to new drugs and therapies.
The EMA’s location drew inward investment from outside of Europe and also allowed the MHRA to help develop less burdensome drug regulation policy, she said.
“Unless the UK gets some sort of deal for the MHRA to remain within the EU regulatory network, preferably allowing the MHRA access to the centralised or mutual recognition procedure, the consequences for the UK life sciences sector are potentially dire,” says Natasha Pearman.
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Life Sciences Intellectual Property Review