Novartis: UK may lose new drugs

It's been Pushme-Pullyu month in the UK as government reports first said new drugs weren't adopted fast enough, then that doctors prescribe too many branded products. Now the former end of that fabled two-headed animal is pushing back. Novartis' in-country chief Subhanu Saxena is saying that drug makers could stop launching new products in Britain because of the regulatory hurdles involved.

First, new products face review from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency. Then, to be adopted by the National Health Services, they have to undergo review by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence. "It is becoming expensive to do trials in the UK and hard to launch new drugs," Saxena says. "There is a real possibility that drug companies will stop launching drugs in Britain."

That's a bit extreme. But according to the Telegraph, Saxena's spouting off might put more pressure on NICE to start analyzing new drugs before they get regulatory approval, rather than after.

- read the report from the Telegraph

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