Now that the UK has triggered Article 50, an important topic on many minds is how Britain’s exit from the European Union will affect clinical trials.
Could Brexit benefit clinical trials?
It is believed by some that the EU clinical trials directive has slowed the pace of research Britain has performed over the years and that, as a result of Brexit, Britain will do better when it comes to drug trials.
It has been reported by the NHS that between 2007 and 2011, applications to carry out clinical trials in the EU decreased by 25%.
This means that even though efforts are being made in Europe to improve regulations, post-Brexit, the UK would be able to revise previous legislation to streamline clinical trials and in turn benefit clinical research and the patients involved.
Will the UK be left behind?
The NHS has highlighted that leaving the EU also means leaving the European Medicines Agency. This has led to concerns that drug licence approvals may experience delays as a result.
The Ethical Medicines Industry Group have stated that a challenging aspect as a result of Brexit, will be for UK firms to continue to “appeal to investors”. Britain’s exit from the EU has meant that many clinical trial experts are also concerned about the effect on access for patients, as larger participant pools offered by the EU may be more appealing than the UK’s, as well as an effect being had by reduced immigration.
It’s not set in stone exactly what will be affected by Brexit in terms of clinical trials in the UK, but it’s important to note that research will prioritise developing life-saving treatments for individuals across the globe.
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