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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