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European Medicines Agency feels Brexit effect

Uncertainty over the future home of the EU’s drug regulator is impacting recruitment and staff motivation, director tells MEPs

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Uncertainty caused by the UK’s decision to leave the EU has caused staffing disruption for the European Medicines Agency (EMA), according to its director Guido Rasi.

Six staff members have resigned from the EMA in the months since the UK referendum, versus “very few” resignations in the five years preceding the vote, Rasi told members of the European Parliament on Tuesday.

Staff motivation is “becoming more and more [an issue] to be addressed”, Rasi said. “Some good candidates are withdrawing their candidature” for EMA positions.

The Brexit vote has created significant anxiety for EU nationals about whether they will be able to stay in the UK. The government has refused to guarantee the rights of EU citizens before formal negotiations begin over the terms of The UK’s exit.

EMA re-location

The contest to host the London-based agency after Brexit is being fought by a number of countries, including Ireland, Italy and Spain. Finland threw its hat into the ring last week.

Rasi said he has no influence on where the EMA will relocate, but laid out some basic requirements that will need to be met. “We need [to be near] an airport, ground transportation [and] 350 [hotel] rooms per night, five days a week,” he said.

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Related subjects: Medicine, Pharmaceutical industry, Pharmaceutical research, Brexit