UK patients ‘could face two-year wait for new drugs’ after Brexit

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British patients could face a longer wait for new drugs after the UK pulls out of the European Union, experts have warned.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has said he does not expect the UK after Brexit to remain within the European Medicines Agency, which evaluates applications to market new drugs across the EU.

A former chairman of the UK’s medical regulator said that if pharmaceutical firms had to obtain separate permissions for Britain, they were likely to prioritise EMA applications for access to the much larger European market.

And a drug company executive suggested the UK would be in the “second or third wave” for new drugs – after Europe, the USA and Japan – leading to delays of as much as 24 months.

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