14:23 GMT28 October 2020
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    Britain could use Brexit to create its own drug-regulating agency, which would "bring the medicines to patients" faster than in the current arrangement under the European Medicines Agency, said a pharmaceuticals chief.

    Severin Schwan, head Swiss drugmaker Roche, explained that there are concerns in the industry that Britain will fall behind when approving new medicines. This would drive drugmaking companies and their investments away from the UK, which according to Mr. Schwam is not as fast in its approvals as the US.

    "It goes without saying that we give preference in research and development activities where we bring the medicines to patients first," Schwan said.

    The pharma chief suggested that if UK's regulatory system after the country's exit from the European Union and potentially the European Medicines Agency will slow further down, it would constitute a "big issue" for the corporation.

    Theresa May's government is trying to make continued UK participation in the EU medicines regulatory network partnership a negotiating objective in talks with the EU.

    READ MORE: UK's May Stresses Need to Abstain From Hard Border Between UK, Ireland

    However, should the UK leave the EMA upon its exit from the European Union after March 29, 2018, Britain may create its own regulation agency with a potentially different approach to drug approval speed.

    The UK government has also warned drugmakers to ensure they will stockpile on additional six weeks' worth of medicines, in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

    Roche employs 2,100 staff in Britain and has been since 1908.

    READ MORE: European Medicines Agency Loses Staff Amid Brexit-Induced Move to Amsterdam


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