MHRA opens consultation on ‘no deal’ contingency legislation for the regulation of medicines and medical devices

On 4 October 2018, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) opened a consultation on how its legislation and regulatory processes would need to be modified in the event of the UK exiting with EU without securing a deal, with no Implementation Period. This consultation builds on the Government’s technical notice published earlier this year on how medicines and medical devices would be regulated following a ‘no deal’ Brexit, by expanding and giving additional detail. Through this consultation and the proposed legislative changes, the MHRA aims to minimise disruption, and provide certainty and guidance to the wider healthcare industry, along with regulatory continuity to ensure the ongoing safety of medicines and medical devices being placed on the UK market. (Examples of this approach would be converting European Centrally Authorised Products (CAPs) issued before Exit Day to UK Marketing Authorisations (MAs) and time-limited recognition of the CE market for medical devices.)  The consultation is published at a time where fears of a shortfall of essential medicines and medical supplies is attracting a high level of press and political attention in the UK as a key risk of a no deal scenario.

The UK is currently part of the European medicines and medical devices regulatory framework, with regulatory processes undertaken at EU-level. However, in the event of no deal being agreed with the EU before 29 March 2019, contingency legislation would be needed in order for the MHRA to be able to take on regulatory processes and become a stand-alone medicines and medical devices regulator (a “trusted standalone sovereign UK regulator”), with authority to carry out all functions or take all decisions which are currently carried out or taken at EU-level.  This would include decisions on Marketing Authorisation applications which are currently authorised through the Centralised Procedure, paediatric investigation plans and orphan status, as well as pharmacovigilance responsibilities.

The consultation covers proposed changes to four different Statutory Instruments:

  • Medical Devices Regulations 2002;
  • Medicines for Human Use (Clinical Trials) Regulations 2004;
  • Human Medicines Regulations 2012; and
  • Medicines (Products for Human Use) (Fees) Regulations 2016.

The consultation is open for the rest of the month and encourages responses from industry, allied healthcare professionals, medical charities and the public on some of the key proposed changes. As part of the published consultation, there is a Draft SI legal text, Consultation Impact Assessment, Consultation Annex and Consultation questions full printout.  Responses may be made here.  The deadline for responding is 1 November 2018.


For further information please contact Julia Gillert of our London office or Els Janssens of our Abu Dhabi office.


Julia Gillert is a Senior Associate in the Corporate Department of Baker & McKenzie's London office and is a key member of the Healthcare industry group within the London office and European and Global networks. Julia advises both domestic and international companies in the med-tech, pharma and healthcare sectors on a wide range of regulatory and general compliance matters. Julia has contributed to a variety of regulatory healthcare related publications and practice handbooks and co-edits the firm's European Healthcare Newsletter. Julia sits on the ABHI's Legal Issues Committee.


Els Janssens is a senior associate in our Abu Dhabi office and provides knowledge management support to Baker & McKenzie’s global and MENA Pharmaceutical and Healthcare industry group. Els started her career in 2000 at Baker and McKenzie in Brussels focusing her practice on pharmaceutical law and commercial litigation. She has worked six years in London as a legal adviser with the European Medicines Agency (EMA). During this period she has supported the EMA’s activities in medicines oversight and regulation and interacted with the European Commission on legal matters relating to medicinal products. She also worked one year as senior legal counsel in Johnson & Johnson’s European legal department providing regulatory advice regarding various medicinal products and supporting the public affairs function on new legislation.

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