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UK Regulatory Agency Restructuring

The UK Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency is undergoing restructuring and is facing a budget cut, raising concerns among staff there, the Financial Times reports. It notes that about 300 of the 1,200 MHRA staff may face job cuts.

FT adds that the proposed restructuring comes as MHRA contends with financial difficulties but that it is also at odds with role of the life sciences in plans to reinvigorate the UK economy. MHRA staff were particularly concerned about proposals to rely on approvals from regulators in the European Union and US. A MHRA official tells FT that "[t]he fear is companies will go to Europe or the US [for regulatory approvals of medicines] and then come back to us for a cheap, rubber-stamping exercise."

The University College London's Derek Hill tells it that it is a "strange time" to be making budget cuts at MHRA as it will be grappling with new EU regulations and changes due to Brexit.

"The medical devices and in vitro diagnostics industry is facing a critical period," Michael Kipping from Innovate UK tells it. "Cutting back on the UK regulator in the face of this challenge is deeply concerning."