At a Health Select Committee meeting earlier today, the UK Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, said that whilst he doesn’t expect the UK to be part of the European Medicines Agency (EMA), he does expect a very close working relationship.
Hunt cited the work of the MHRA, saying the agency conducts about 40% of work for the EMA, often the more complex work, as the basis for a strong future partnership saying that it would benefit the EU to have access to the MHRA’s expertise.
Exactly what this means for future drug registration procedures in the UK is unclear but the Secretary of State did not rule out the UK mutually recognising EMA approvals. What is clear though, it that the UK will have to have separate regulatory arrangements. Things cannot stay exactly as they are because the UK cannot be subject to EU laws and under the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice.
We shall have to see how the negotiations between the UK and EU go and what the outcome is before we know exactly what the new regulatory landscape will look like.