Brexit: meeting with negotiators on behalf of EU and UK patients

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In Brussels today, IPPOSI’s CEO Derick Mitchell was part of a delegation that met with members of the EU Article 50 Taskforce negotiating team from the European Commission, to advocate for the protection of the health and safety of EU and UK patients during the Brexit negotiations.

The delegation included IPPOSI, the European Patients’ Forum (EPF), the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC), and Cancer Research UK and represented signatories of this open letter signed by a consortium of pan-EU and UK-based patient-led organisations (more information here) in order to raise concerns about the impact of Brexit on patients in the EU and UK.

Today’s meeting was with Mr. Stephan Fuehring and a number of other members of the Article 50 Taskforce. At today’s meeting the focus was on:

  • Pan-European clinical trials
  • Cross-border healthcare initiatives
  • Collaborative medical research, with particular emphasis on rare diseases (European Reference Networks)
  • Regulation of Medicines, with particular emphasis on dual-labelling

Pictured above are (L-R):

Dr Derick Mitchell, Chief Executive, IPPOSI; Susanna Palkonen, EPF and Director, European Federation of Allergy and Airways Diseases Patients Associations; Kostas Aligiannis, Policy Officer, EPF; Dr Cat Ball, Policy Manager, AMRC; Prof Pamela Kearns, Director of the Cancer Research UK Clinical Trials Unit in the School of Cancer Sciences, University of Birmingham.

IPPOSI will continue to keep our members updated on these (and other parallel) efforts to bring a concerted, unified patient voice to the Brexit negotiation process.

A short summary of key points from the meeting is below:

  • EU and UK patient organisation views were communicated – the group urged that patients be at the table and that patients are included in the political declaration on the future relationship due in the autumn. There was recognition that the patient voice must be recognised.
  • The Commission set out their position and outlined Taskforce on Article 50 workstreams with specific reference to our priority areas.
  • Negotiation milestones – agreement on the future relationship will be a political agreement due to time constraints; withdrawal agreement will be a legal agreement (TBC). Therefore, uncertainty on future relationship likely to continue throughout the transition period.
  • Preparedness – much of our conversation focused on pan-EU clinical trials.  The Commission indicated they will produce a stakeholder notice on clinical trial preparedness.
  • Fuehring and his team suggested that they are happy to meet again before the end of the year. This follow-up meeting is confirmed for November 22nd, 2018.
20 March 2018

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