October 29, 2019

What the Queen said about Life Sciences

In the wider press much attention was given to statements about the fight against crime and Brexit. However, the Queen’s speech did also mention the proposal of a “Medicines and Medical Devices Bill”. The purpose of the bill is to ensure, that the UK remains at the forefront of the global life sciences industry after Brexit and therefore allowing the UK to take a leading role in the global research for cures for rare diseases and the improvement of treatments.

The bill focusses on innovative medicines and medical devices and how they can be made available to NHS patients as soon as possible. The bill puts forward a number new measures, including

  1. The reduction of unnecessary bureaucracy in relation to low risk clinical trials, making it possible for a quick introduction of new medicines;
  2. At the same time introducing rules to prevent counterfeit medicines being introduced into the supply chain. This measure should ensure patient safety;
  3. Providing the Government with the authority to increase the number of health professionals, who can prescribe low risk medication, and develop more innovative ways to dispense medicines, provided it is recommended by scientific experts;
  4. Extend the UK’s lead in personalised medicine and Artificial Intelligence by enabling the authorities to develop innovative regulation, which would make early access possible for new technologies and break new ground in complex clinical trials.

It remains to be seen what the final version of the bill will include, but the bill shows how important the Life Sciences sector is for the UK. The Life Sciences sector is worth £74 billion per annum to the UK and employs almost 250000

One of the main challenges in the Brexit process is to secure, that the UK’s position within the Life Sciences sector is not threatened. If the withdrawal agreement is ratified both in the UK and the EU, the next step will be for the UK to negotiate and a free trade agreement with the EU, and it is in this agreement the UK will have to agree what access to the EU, its Life Sciences industry will get.

Brexit can potentially have a big impact on the Life Sciences sector in the UK. Therefore, companies in this sector should (if they have not already done so) start planning for how Brexit might impact their business. Regardless of how your business is affected by Brexit, our team of specialists can assist your business in planning for Brexit.”

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