Clinical trials plummet in the UK as Brexit looms

Oct. 10, 2018

The number of clinical trials in the UK fell by 25 percent in 2017 as fears about the regulatory impact of Brexit linger.

Between 2009-2016, the annual average number of clinical trials launched in the UK was about 806 — but in 2017, the total fell to 597.

It is still unclear how exactly the UK will untangle itself from the EU and what it means for the regulatory landscape. For pharma manufacturers, there are concerns, for example, that research data about trials in the UK may not be acceptable by the European Medicine Agency’s standards. The EMA is already in the process of moving its headquarters out of London and to Amsterdam.

Although the UK’s National Health Service has historically been an important center for drug trials, there’s still no clear framework for the regulatory path of new medicines developed there.

The official process of removing the UK from the EU is slated to begin March 29, 2019.

Read the full Reuters report.