New UK Medicines and Medical Devices Bill Announced

By Jane Summerfield

The Queen's Speech, which set out the government's proposed plan for new legislation, included a new "Medicines and Medical Devices Bill". The government's background briefing describes the purpose of the Bill as ensuring that the UK remains at the forefront of the global life sciences industry after Brexit, giving patients faster access to innovative medicines and supporting the growth of the UK's domestic life sciences sector.

The main elements of the Bill would include:

  • Powers to reduce the administrative burden on running low risk clinical trials of innovative medicines and devices;
  • Allowing the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) to develop regulations to enable early access to innovative technologies and facilitate complex clinical trials, with a focus on personalised medicine and artificial intelligence in health;
  • Increasing the range of professions able to prescribe low-risk medicines;
  • Developing more innovative ways of dispensing medicines;
  • Implementing a scheme to stop counterfeit medicines entering supply chains; and
  • Implementing a registration scheme for online sellers.

One of the stated benefits of the Bill would also be to ensure that UK legislation relating to medical devices, medicines, veterinary medicines and clinical trials can be updated in response to both patient safety concerns and the future global relationship of the UK in these areas, implying that the government is already turning its attention to possible legislative developments post-Brexit.

Read more on Brexit preparations and impacts for Life Sciences in our Industry Thinking.

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Brexit and Data Protection: Boom for data centre operators in Continental Europe?

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The future of UK data protection

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Beyond Brexit: Regulatory equivalence in financial services

Irrespective of whether the UK leaves the EU with a withdrawal agreement, interest grows in the future of regulatory policy, the inter-connectivity of international financial services, and how firms from other countries will be welcomed by the main international jurisdictions.

DHSC Update on Medicines and Medical Devices Contingency Planning

Following the recent agreement to delay Brexit until 31 January 2020, the UK Department of Health and Social Care ("DHSC") has written to suppliers of UK medicines and medical devices to confirm the continued contingency planning arrangements for a "no deal" Brexit.

EU/UK trade and customs relationship in the new N. Ireland protocol

Old wine in new barrels?

The EU-UK agreement reached on 17 October 2019 ("Agreement") revises the Irish backstop with a new protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland ("NI protocol").

New UK Medicines and Medical Devices Bill Announced

UK government's proposed plan for new legislation, includes a new "Medicines and Medical Devices Bill".

Brexit: challenges and opportunities for FinTechs

With Parliament prorogued and the Government suggesting it may ignore legislation obliging it to request a further Brexit extension from Brussels, it remains a possibility that the UK may leave the EU on 31 October 2019 without a deal. In light of this it is important that businesses continue their preparations for Brexit in order to ensure they are able to continue to offer their services with minimal disruption.

Brexit - a guide to the latest developments

As the UK's constitution continues to be tested, the Brexit fundamentals remain unchanged.

What does a Johnson Premiership mean for Brexit?

By Andrew Eaton

Mr Johnson takes charge of Brexit at a fractious time for his party and the country, with the Conservative Party's working majority in the House of Commons (with the support from the Democratic Unionist Party) now just two and a number of pre-emptive ministerial resignations before he took office setting a defiant tone among rebellious MPs within the party itself.

Europe's share trading spat with Switzerland is a warning shot

Published in The Daily Telegraph on 9 July 2019

The EU’s dispute with Switzerland over the terms of access to their respective share trading markets, which brought the trading of Swiss stocks on European stock exchanges to a halt last week, is a stark reminder of what might await the UK in October.

Brexit recap: Where we are and how to do business in uncertainty

The UK Conservative Party leadership race is in full swing, with candidates making a number of promises and pledges relating to Brexit.  In light of this, it is instructive to recap the basic legal position in which the UK finds itself and how we got here.