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Medicines research warning over Brexit

From BBC - October 11, 2017

Britain risks losing its leading position in drug research and development if plans for regulating medicines after Brexit are not set out soon, one of the UK's most influential research leaders has warned.

Prof Jeremy Farrar, head of the Wellcome Trust, called for "clarity".

He said delays could slow down the development of drugs.

Ministers have said they want to maintain a close relationship with the European medicines regulator.

Prof Farrar was speaking at a meeting in London, organised by the body that regulates medicines in the UK, the MHRA.

He told BBC News that large pharmaceutical companies were waiting to see details of the government's plans for regulating medicines after Brexit.

"If that clarity is not forthcoming and people ca not be sure of their long-term stability and the clarity of those future relationships, then inevitably that will be factored into their investment decisions.

"That's inevitable. That can be avoided," Prof Farrar said.

'Innovative medicines'

In a letter to the Financial Times, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt and Business Secretary Greg Clark said that their aim was "to ensure that patients in the UK and across the EU continue to be able to access the best and most innovative medicines and be assured that their safety is protected through the strongest regulatory framework and sharing of data".

But more than three months on from that joint statement, Mr Farrar would like to see some action from the ministers.

"I have no doubt but it's high on their agenda," he said.

'Golden age'

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