With Brexit well underway, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) is also preparing to leave the UK. Relocation of the EMA headquarters aim to be completed by March 2019, starting by considering applications later this year.
“With the EMA potentially moving out of the U.K., we need to have a regulatory body that is affiliated with an institution such as the European Medicines Agency, but [that] also takes the opportunity to create an environment where actually doing clinical trials, clinical development, adopting innovation is easy. And that I think is an opportunity post-Brexit,” Pangalos said.
The close-but-separate model proposed by Pangalos echoes that put forward by some government politicians, notably health secretary Jeremy Hunt. Speaking in January, Hunt said the U.K. is likely to leave the EMA but wanted the “closest possible regulatory equivalence.” That could mean the U.K. would automatically license drugs approved by the EMA.