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Medicines regulation and public health should be Brexit priority, warns Wellcome Trust director

Why should international collaboration on public health and medicines regulation be the next item for the Brexit negotiations?

It is vital that we protect regulatory co-operation and create an environment post-Brexit in which medical innovation can succeed Wellcome Trust director Dr Jeremy Farrar has warned.

All sides should push for this issue to be dealt with as soon as possible in the next phase of the negotiations, said the eminent clinical scientist.

Delivering the 12th annual Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) lecture in London this week, Dr Farrar said that to safeguard global health, regulators, scientists, and innovators must achieve more global co-operation, not less.

In an interview with the BBC, Dr Farrar added that Britain risks losing its leading position in drug research and development if plans for regulating medicines after Brexit are not set out soon.

Pharmaceutical companies are waiting to see details of the government’s plans for regulating medicines after Brexit, he argued. If these companies are unsure of the future of regulation and existing relationships, this will affect their investment decisions.

Recent political events had also shaken international structures and collaborations that have protected public health.

‘Recent world events such as Brexit have created an uncertain future for global health. But the health challenges we face do not respect national boundaries — they require global solutions,’ he said.

Further information Global health must survive political upheaval: Dr Jeremy Farrar delivers MHRA annual lecture

Website: Wellcome Institute