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International Clinical Trials

Life After Brexit

“It is hard to think of an industry of greater strategic importance to Britain than its pharmaceutical industry,” confirmed the UK’s Prime Minister, Theresa May (1). It is important to consider what lies ahead for pharma, particularly in clinical research, which will allow both British and global drug development to prosper after Brexit.

Following the Referendum on 23 June 2016, the UK took the historic decision to exit the EU, which will result in the British government triggering Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty– thereby officially notifying the European Council of its intention to leave. Britain’s exit is the most significant economic demerger between major economies since the Second World War, and both parties will find themselves significantly changed by this.

Brexit has resulted in a number of uncertainties and complexities for clinical trials in the UK, but has also presented some new opportunities. It could have a considerable impact on clinical research in the following areas:
  • The EMA relocation and the Medicines Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA)
  • Clinical trial approval
  • EU regulations and clinical trial process
  • Employee talent
  • Research funding and collaboration


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Dr Laura Brown is Managing Director of LB Training and Development, an international quality assurance and training consultancy in the pharma industry. She oversees and delivers a broad range of regulatory and management courses, as well as consulting for the pharma sector on services including project management, CTRs, standard operating procedures, the Pharma MBA and many more. Laura is also the Course Director of the MSc Regulatory Affairs at TOPRA.
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