Brexit claimed to threaten distribution and approval of newer drugs.. by former health secretary

GPs experience with recent new drugs is that covert rationing delays their approval until at or near their patent expiry (E.g. Atorvastatin replacing Simvastatin). The claim that Brexit might make this worse does not hold up. New drugs for cancer have suffered the same delay..

Henry Zeffman reports in The Times 2nd November 2016: Patients face longer wait for new drugs

Patients face being denied new drugs if there is a so-called hard Brexit, a former health secretary has claimed.

Stephen Dorrell, who was health secretary between 1995 and 1997, warned that if the UK leaves the single market it will take drugs companies longer to bring new medicines to Britain.

In a report for Public Policy Projects, a health think tank, he said that the government must be “equally focused” on the implications of Brexit for life sciences as it is on financial services.

“Science and science-based industry is a global activity and we face a simple choice: we either participate in full in that global scientific community or we prejudice a key British national interest,” Mr Dorrell said. The former Conservative MP is now a healthcare adviser to KPMG and chairman of the NHS confederation, which represents trusts.

Regulations allow companies to have new drugs licensed across the continent by the London-based European Medicines Agency. If the UK leaves the single market and does not have an arrangement with the pharmaceuticals sector the scheme would not apply and drugs companies would have to go through a separate process.

This entry was posted in A Personal View, Rationing, Stories in the Media on by .

About Roger Burns - retired GP

I am a retired GP and medical educator. I have supported patient participation throughout my career, and my practice, St Thomas; Surgery, has had a longstanding and active Patient Participation Group (PPG). I support the idea of Community Health Councils, although I feel they should be funded at arms length from government. I have taught GP trainees for 30 years, and been a Programme Director for GP training in Pembrokeshire 20 years. I served on the Pembrokeshire LHG and LHB for a total of 10 years. I completed an MBA in 1996, and I along with most others, never had an exit interview from any job in the NHS! I completed an MBA in 1996, and was a runner up for the Adam Smith prize for economy and efficiency in government in that year. This was owing to a suggestion (St Thomas' Mutual) that practices had incentives for saving by being allowed to buy rationed out services in the following year.

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