The UK has now completed the transition period and has left the European Union with a trade deal. Cancer Research UK have considered how the new UK-EU relationship may affect cancer services and research.
In terms of access to cancer treatments the agreement includes arrangements to minimise disruption to the supply of medicines, such as the UK and EU recognising each other’s inspections of manufactured medicines moving across borders. This includes a commitment that the UK and EU’s medicines agencies – the MHRA and EMA – will work together to minimise disruptions caused by changes to regulation. The UK Government has also made extensive plans to minimise any disruption to the supply of medicines, including asking distributors to hold additional supplies of medicines and securing emergency freight capacity for medicines and other priority goods.
Clinical trials have been an area of concern but most clinical trials should be minimally disrupted by the new relationship, as they’re covered by the medicines supply arrangements described above. These trials are also covered by the agreement’s arrangements for moving data between the UK and EU. This is important for international clinical trials that recruit patients across multiple countries, as these trials rely on moving personal data across borders. In addition to the negotiated deal, most international trials have taken steps to prevent this causing major disruption to trial participants by making legal agreements with their EU-based partners.
Cancer Research UK will be advocating for some developments with the EU and UK relationship which will positively affect the delivery of cancer care, these may include