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UK minister lobbied EU for lighter regulation of drugs and devices

BMJ 2016; 353 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.i3357 (Published 15 June 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;353:i3357
  1. Deborah Cohen
  1. The BMJ

The UK government has been lobbying the European Commission to adopt a more relaxed approach to regulating drugs, devices, and food, a letter seen by The BMJ has shown.

George Freeman, the UK life sciences minister with responsibilities including the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, wrote to the European Union’s (EU) research, science and innovation commissioner, Carlos Moedas, late last year to urge him to “tackle the increasingly precautionary ‘anti-science’ trend in EU legislation” that he said was stifling innovation.

Freeman said that regulation needed to change “to attract significant inward investment, attract industry collaboration, and support new business growth.”

Citing a 2015 report from financial consultants Capital Economics, Freeman wrote that the “bioeconomy”—which included medicine, food, biotechnology, and agrichemicals—provided …

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