A study from Brexit Health Alliance has suggested that children could miss out on being involved in life-saving clinical trials as a result of the UK leaving the EU.
In the absence of a right deal, the UK might not be able to fully participate in collaborative trials and research activities such as the ones that include children and adults with rare and complex diseases.
The UK could also be restricted from having access to crucial EU infrastructure that carries out the legislation authorising and managing clinical trials, posing ‘serious implications’ for patient access to medical research, said the study.
The study is the latest in a series that assesses the impact possible impact of Brexit on patients, health and social care services, as well as the wider healthcare industry.
Brexit Health Alliance co-chair Niall Dickson said: “We need to make sure UK and EU patients do not lose out as the UK leaves the EU.
“If patients are to continue to benefit from early access to new and better treatments, health technologies and cutting-edge medicines, we have to be able to take part in multinational research programmes and clinical trials.
“This can be done if the will is there, what patients need is an agreement which enables maximum cooperation in research and innovation between the EU and the UK, and maximum alignment with the rules regulating medicines and medical devices across Europe.”
Brexit Health Alliance is urging the Brexit negotiators to secure a positive future cooperation model for research and innovation between the UK and the EU by including the UK in EU-funding programmes.
It has also suggested the creation of a straightforward and welcoming UK migration system to attract researchers, innovators, and their families.
The alliance has suggested that Brexit negotiators should ensure continued UK participation in European Reference Networks for rare and complex diseases to benefit patients across Europe.
The association also called out for maximum cooperation and harmonisation of frameworks that govern medical research, medicines and medical device regulations.
Brexit Health Alliance is a coalition of organisations from the NHS, medical research, industry, patients, and public health bodies.