Thank you for contacting me about funding for the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). I do not, as a general rule, sign EDMs as they have no prospect of changing the law, are seldom debated and do not raise the profile of an issue with a minister.
I pay tribute to all those at the MHRA for the invaluable work they do, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic and the vital role played in authorising COVID-19 vaccines.
I understand that the MHRA is planning to transform the way the organisation works in response to four separate challenges: the loss of fees income following the UK’s departure from the EU; financial pressures; the agency's role in enabling the government's Life Sciences Vision strategy; and the recent Cumberlege Review into medicines and medical devices safety, which recommended changes to the MHRA including a renewed focus on patients in its activities.
I know that the MHRA has committed to continuing to be a world-class regulator that delivers the right outcomes for patients, while modernising the services they provide to industry, and remaining financially stable. The MHRA is carrying out a series of equality and diversity impact assessments throughout the transformation and continues to engage with trade unions and employees through a formal consultation as well as continuing opportunities for engagement with senior leaders. Ministers and officials meet regularly with the MHRA to discuss a range of issues, including its transformation plans to become a more dynamic and efficient organisation. This is encouraging and I hope is of some reassurance.
While I know that there is a Spending Review ongoing this year I am unfortunately not in a position to pre-empt the findings and conclusions of said review.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.