The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has privately warned that it has already lost tens of millions of pounds in revenue due to changes resulting from Brexit. A senior body official said it had to adjust to a ‘new reality’ after revenue streams have been disrupted since the UK officially completed its departure from the European Union more than a year ago. ‘a year.
Healthcare insiders say a senior MHRA official told industry figures at a recent meeting that various regulatory changes could cost the body between £20m and £30m , according to PoliticsHome.
Prior to Brexit, the European Health Agency (EHA) paid the UK medicines regulator a large sum for its work evaluating new medicines for use across the EU.
But the senior MHRA official warned that due to subsequent changes to the UK leaving the EU, the body would now have to adjust to a “new setup”.
The source said while they “hoped” to receive more funds from the government’s spending review, no final decision has been made.
A spokesman for the MHRA did not question the figure around the funding black hole.
But they instead pointed out that its annual accounts showed £12.8million of additional funding had been provided by the Department of Health and Social Care to make up for lost post-Brexit income.
The spokesperson said: “We will continue to be a world-class regulator delivering the right outcomes for patients as we modernize the services we provide to industry and remain financially stable.
“Our transformation will result in a redesign and re-skilling of our workforce, balanced with increased revenue and further efficiencies, taking into account the different functions within the Agency, some of which are expected to grow and others to shrink at as we transition into our new role as a progressive and pro-innovation regulator.”
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The reported job cuts have raised fears among doctors’ groups and unions that approval of drugs and other treatments could be delayed and put its reputation at risk.
However, the latest funding black hole is now putting enormous pressure on the Prime Minister to quickly start demonstrating the benefits of Brexit, more than a year after the UK officially left the EU.
In February Mr Johnson appointed Jacob Rees-Mogg as Minister for Brexit Opportunities and Government Efficiency, tasked with identifying the benefits for Britain of leaving the bloc.
Last month, the former leader of the House of Commons said the government’s ‘vision’ for Brexit was to scrap ‘gold-plated’ EU regulations.
He told a parliamentary committee that the EU had ‘imposed’ regulations on the UK and it was his job to get rid of them.
Mr Rees-Mogg said: ‘What is the vision in terms of Brexit opportunities is that we should have a more efficient economy, we should have supply-side reforms, we should get rid of the unnecessary, often gold-plated regulations that the European Union has imposed on us.
“A lot of times we’ve been outvoted in the cabinet, we’ve got things passed by supermajority, or we abstained on things because we knew we’d lose at that stage. It’s about to liberate the economy.”