The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has warned that it will have to cut down its work even further as it relocates from London to Amsterdam because of Brexit.
Announcing the introduction of the third phase of its plan to focus on core work during the run-up to Brexit, the EMA said it would have to pare down its operations even further in January 2019.
Phase three of the EMA’s ‘Brexit preparedness business continuity plan’ kicked in on 1 October 2018, but it said that it “anticipates that phase three will have to be complemented with additional temporary suspensions/reductions as of 1 January 2019”.
The latest scaling back of work includes slowing down on guideline development and revision. The EMA is also expected to put non-product related working parties on hold from 1 November 2018.
But the EMA said it would continue to work on seven guidelines that either address an urgent public or animal health need, or are related to Brexit preparations.
The suspension and scaling back of work is expected to last until 30 June 2019, but a decision will be taken in April 2019 when a full programme of work can resume.
“[The] EMA will now temporarily suspend or scale back additional activities to ensure that resources can be redeployed so that its core activities can continue without interruption and to the same quality,” said NoÃ«l Wathion, deputy executive director at the EMA.
“Over the next few months, [the] EMA will continue to carefully monitor staff intentions to relocate and the anticipated impact on its activities whilst planning for the critical time period when [the EMA] will be moving to its new premises in Amsterdam.”
One of the reasons Amsterdam was chosen as the new home of the EMA after Brexit was its popularity with staff. But the EMA has since said that it expects to lose around a third of its staff when it leaves its current London headquarters.