The UK currently as the highest number of early-stage clinical trials in Europe, with 400 phase I and phase II trials starting in the NHS in 2017, a pharmaceutical industry report has said.
The report, published by the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) on 21 November 2019, also highlighted that the UK also had the third-highest number of phase III trials starting in 2017 in Europe behind Germany and Spain at 243 trials.
However, it warned that uncertainty around the relationship between the UK and the EU after Brexit “undermines the attractiveness of the UK as a destination for clinical research”.
The ABPI has therefore recommended that the government “ensures the UK clinical research environment remains stable during this period of Brexit uncertainty, alongside securing a future relationship with the EU which ensures regulatory and research alignment”.
Sheuli Porkess, executive director of research, medical and innovation at the ABPI, said the report shows “how strong we are as a nation at research and development, which leads to new medicines and vaccines, but there’s no room for complacency”.
Commenting on the report findings, Andrew Goddard, president of the Royal College of Physicians, added that “the next government cannot let [the UK’s top] position slip”.