Brexit backlash: UK patients pulled from international heart drug trial

Heart patients across the U.K. have been cut from an international clinical trial to test a novel heart attack drug after the medicine’s manufacturers expressed concern about registering new medications in Europe post-Brexit.

Patients in Exeter, Leeds and Clydebank, in Scotland, were slated to participate in the trial, the Independent reported this month. However, U.S. pharmaceutical company Recardio backed out of the British arm of its trial due to worries that the European Medicines Agency would have trouble accepting British data after Brexit clears.

Recardio’s drug, dutogliptin, claims to help regenerate cardiac muscle after a myocardial infarction. Despite British patients being pulled from the trial, the Independent reported the U.K. government has said it’s “confident the U.K. would still be a good base for trials after the March deadline.”

Still, it’s likely British researchers and healthcare providers will face major backlash after leaving the European Union, as manufacturers prioritize the larger European market.

“We are confident of reaching a deal with the EU that benefits patients and continues to deliver the best possible environment in which to support clinical trials,” a spokeswoman for the Department of Health told the Independent. “We want to ensure that patients in the U.K. and across the EU are still able to access the most innovative and effective medicines.”

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