Drug tests are the most important stage in the development of a drug; determining the safety and effects of a particular medicine, which is waiting to be prescribed to patients with potential life threatening diseases. It is morally, deemed ethical to drug test on willing volunteers, rather than unaware animals, but due to Brexit 600,000 clinical trials on patients, may no longer be available. The simple fact is it’s cheaper and also easier to follow one set of European regulations, in order to drug test throughout the whole of Europe. In this case, leaving the European union has left us in an unstable position of medical deficiency.
Beth Thompson, is a senior policy advisor, who suggested that our lack of luck regarding the new
EU regulations which will be missing out on, will cause patients with life threatening illnesses to miss out on new treatment opportunities. The regulations for clinical trials is hoped to streamline throughout all the 28 countries within the European Union, allowing each country to have the same application process, making trails easier and more efficient. Therefore, unless the UK improves its system of clinical trials, to mirror the strategy implemented in the EU, decline in clinical trials may occur. Ms Thompson continued to say; “The risk is definitely there that when the UK leaves the EU, and with it leaves that harmonised framework, that I will reduce the number of trails that happen in the UK”. It is uncertain if the EU will come to some sort agreement with the UK, as a bad image has already spawned, through the separation in unity.
Cancer is a rapidly developing disease with over 100 types of different cancers, special medication needs to be analytically focused upon to fight each separate cancer type and effectively help to destroy each cell, to prevent mutations. However, if clinical trials slow down then there will be a longer waiting period for new medications to be patented with time being invaluable, especially as cells can multiply at a rapid rate, ultimately reducing the survival rate for all diseases.
It seems as though the EU will rise in terms of medical advancements, countries like the US and Japan, with fall on the same plate as the UK. Jeremy Hunt, the former health secretary commented we could be at “the back of the queue”, regarding the two countries previously mentioned. Disease’s which are more common in the UK, in contrast to other countries, will sacrifice their willing patients who could volunteer more easily to undergo trials. Clinical trials, have benefited those with uncommon diseases, who can be tested upon, develop new medicines and stop the disease before it becomes a common threat and most importantly save lives. The head of the UK medical regulatory body of the mhra, Ian Hudson, mentioned, “as part of exit negotiations we will discuss with the European union and Member states how best to continue cooperation in the field of medical trials”.
For research to be undergone, it is accompanied by lengthy planning which is important in order to make sure the drug is safe, for further tests to be undergone, especially on human volunteers. The head of the cancer research, Paul Workman, highlighted; “Any regulatory barriers to working collaboratively with colleagues in the EU would limit our opportunities to take part in and lead these trails, which would have an impact on both research and patients”. Also, “The outcome of Brexit negotiations must ensure the UK remains competitive in a very tough environment”. The likelihood of this happening is particularly slim, as the EU has an economic edge, allowing them to stay away from making further negotiations with the UK; however times like these with portray the EU’s moral stance.