UK to Adopt Pharmaceutical Reciprocity!

More than twenty years ago I wrote:

If the United States and, say, Great Britain had drug-approval reciprocity, then drugs approved in Britain would gain immediate approval in the United States, and drugs approved in the United States would gain immediate approval in Great Britain. Some countries such as Australia and New Zealand already take into account U.S. approvals when making their own approval decisions. The U.S. government should establish reciprocity with countries that have a proven record of approving safe drugs—including most west European countries, Canada, Japan, and Australia. Such an arrangement would reduce delay and eliminate duplication and wasted resources. By relieving itself of having to review drugs already approved in partner countries, the FDA could review and investigate NDAs more quickly and thoroughly.

Well, it’s happening! After Brexit, there were concerns that drugs would take longer to get approved in the UK because the EU was a much larger market. To address this, the UK introduced the “reliance procedure” which recognized the EU as a stringent regulator and guaranteed approval in the UK within 67 days for any drug approved in the EU. The Reliance Procedure essentially kept the UK in the pre-Brexit situation, and was supposed to be temporary. However, recognizing the logic of recognizing the EU, the UK is now saying that it will recognize other countries.

Our aim is to extend the countries whose assessments we will take account of, increasing routes to market in the UK. We will communicate who these additional regulators are and publish detailed guidance about this new framework in due course, including any transition arrangements for applications received under existing frameworks.

The UK is already participating in a mutual recognition agreement with the FDA over some cancer drugs. Therefore, it seems likely that the FDA will be among the regulatory authorities that the UK recognizes. If the UK does recognize the FDA, then we only need the FDA to recognize the UK for my scenario from more than 20 years ago to be fulfilled.

It’s thus time to revisit the Lee-Cruz bill of 2015, which proposed the Result Act (I was an influence).

Reciprocity Ensures Streamlined Use of Lifesaving Treatments Act (S. 2388), or the RESULT Act,” which would amend the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act to allow for reciprocal approval of drugs.

Addendum: Many previous posts on FDA reciprocity.


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