Later this month the United Kingdom (UK) is expected to achieve independence from the European Union (EU) based on a referendum that was passed in June 2016. Yet Britain’s exit, or “Brexit,” leaves us with more questions than answers right now. We have been watching and waiting, with clarity expected on March 29, 2019, the date the UK is set to leave the EU.
As the UK splits away from the EU, QPS anticipates new challenges in clinical research and drug development. Will there be a reduction in the number of clinical trials, and types of trials? Will there be fewer patient populations in clinical trials? Will the UK and EU lose opportunities and be less competitive in the global clinical trials market? How will the pharmaceutical industry and global contract research organizations (CROs) respond? Will we be able to continue to innovate and improve clinical trial design, patient access, recruitment and retention?
As a provider of discovery, preclinical and clinical drug development services to the pharmaceutical industry, QPS has been working with partners across the globe to accelerate pharmaceutical breakthroughs by delivering custom-built research services. We have deep roots and skilled leaders doing business across the UK and EU with facilities in the Netherlands and Austria, and a strong presence at sites in many other countries including Spain, Germany and France. As a result, QPS is prepared to take on clinical trials that need to be moved out of the UK, and quickly restarted in Europe.
QPS believes that patient access to safe and effective medicines is paramount and successful clinical trials are a key step in the drug development and approval process. This process may be hampered by political decisions that affect the future of clinical trials, as evidenced by the significant decline of clinical trials in the UK since the Brexit vote in 2016. Our hope is that the UK and EU will work together to ensure the availability of new and existing licensed medicines for patients, and maintain an environment conducive to ongoing clinical research and drug development.
QPS will continue to monitor the developments closely in order to understand the impact and coordinate efforts to minimize any impacts for our sponsors and partners. Our commitment to supporting our sponsors and partners in clinical research and drug development remains steadfast. QPS has been supporting partners for decades pre-Brexit, and will continue to do so post-Brexit.
President and General Manager, QPS in the Netherlands