Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency

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Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency
Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency logo.png
Executive agency overview
Formed 1 April 2003; 11 years ago (2003-04-01)
Preceding agencies Medicines Control Agency
Medical Devices Agency
Headquarters London, United Kingdom
51°29′35.3538″N 0°8′47.1366″W / 51.493153833°N 0.146426833°W / 51.493153833; -0.146426833
Minister responsible Frederick Curzon, 7th Earl Howe, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department of Health
Executive agency executives Sir Gordon Duff, Chairman
Sir Kent Woods, Chief Executive
Parent department Department of Health
Child agencies MHRA Regulatory
Clinical Practice Research Datalink
National Institute for Biological Standards and Control
Website www.mhra.gov.uk

The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is a UK government agency which is responsible for ensuring that medicines and medical devices work and are acceptably safe.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency was formed in 2003 with the merger of the Medicines Control Agency (MCA) and the Medical Devices Agency (MDA). In April 2013, it merged with the National Institute for Biological Standards and Control (NIBSC) and was rebranded, with the MHRA identity being used for the parent organisation and one of the centres within the group. It is an executive agency of the Department of Health. The agency employs over 900 people.[1]

Structure[edit]

The MHRA is divided into three main centres:

History[edit]

In 1999, the Medicines Control Agency (MCA) took over control of the General Practice Research Database (GPRD) from Office for National Statistics. Medicines Control Agency (MCA) and the Medical Devices Agency (MDA) merged in 2003 to form the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (with a lower case "products" at that time). In April 2012, the GPRD was expanded and relaunched as the Clinical Practice Datalink (CPRD). In April 2013, the MHRA merged with the National Institute for Biological Standards and Control (NIBSC) and was rebranded, with the MHRA identity being used for the parent organisation and one of the centres within the group. At the same time the CPRD was formally declared a separate centre if the MHRA as well.[2]

Roles[edit]

  1. Operate post-marketing surveillance for reporting, investigating and monitoring of adverse drug reactions to medicines and incidents with medical devices.
  2. Assessment and authorisation of medicinal products for sale and supply in UK.
  3. Oversee the Notified Bodies that ensure medical device manufacturers comply with regulatory requirements before putting devices on the market.
  4. Operate a quality surveillance system to sample and test medicines to address quality defects and to monitor the safety and quality of unlicensed products.
  5. Investigate internet sales and potential counterfeiting of medicines, and prosecute where necessary.
  6. Regulate clinical trials of medicines and medical devices.
  7. Monitor and ensure compliance with statutory obligations relating to medicines and medical devices.
  8. Promote safe use of medicines and devices.
  9. Manage the Clinical Practice Research Datalink and the British Pharmacopoeia.

MHRA hosts and supports a number of expert advisory bodies, including the Commission on Human Medicine which replaced the Committee on the Safety of Medicines in 2005, and the British Pharmacopoeia Commission.

As part of the European system of approval, MHRA or other national bodies can be the rapporteur or co-rapporteur for any given pharmaceutical application, taking on the bulk of the verification work on behalf of all members, while the documents are still sent to other members as and where requested.

Funding[edit]

The MHRA is funded by the Department of Health for the regulation of medical devices, whilst the costs of medicines regulation is met through fees from the pharmaceutical industry.[3] This has led to suggestions by some MPs that the MHRA is too reliant on industry, and so not fully independent.[4]

Criticism[edit]

The MHRA has been criticised by the House of Commons Health Committee for, among other things, lacking transparency,[5] and for inadequately checking drug licensing data.[6]

The MHRA (and US Food and Drug Administration) have been criticised in the book Bad Pharma,[7] and by Dr David Healy in evidence to the House of Commons Health Committee,[8] for having undergone regulatory capture; advancing the interests of the drug companies rather than the interests of the public.

Donald Light at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study summarised as such:[9]

...the industry has shaped the rules of the regulators, funded their operations, and lobbied them constantly in a classic pattern of regulatory capture....

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Working for is: MHRA". Retrieved 24 October 2012. 
  2. ^ "Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency Expands". MHRA. 28 March 2013. Retrieved 4 April 2013. 
  3. ^ "How is the MHRA funded?". MHRA. Retrieved 18 September 2013. 
  4. ^ Flynn MP, Paul. "Early Day Motion 1197: MHRA". Session 2012-13. House of Commons. Retrieved 18 September 2013. 
  5. ^ "The Influence of the Pharmaceutical Industry, Fourth Report of Session 2004–05, Volume I". Page 5: "Greater transparency is also fundamental to the medicines regulatory system. There has to be better public access to materials considered by the MHRA prior to licensing". House of Commons Health Committee. Retrieved 16 August 2013. 
  6. ^ "The Influence of the Pharmaceutical Industry, Fourth Report of Session 2004–05, Volume I". Page 4: "the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), has failed to adequately scrutinise licensing data and its post-marketing surveillance is inadequate. ". House of Commons Health Committee. Retrieved 16 August 2013. 
  7. ^ Goldacre, Ben (2012). Bad pharma : how drug companies mislead doctors and harm patients. London: Fourth Estate. ISBN 978-0-00-735074-2. 
  8. ^ Health Committee: Evidence. House of Commons Health Committee. 2004. p. 98. 
  9. ^ Light, Donald. "Rapid Response to Don't Blame it all on the Bogey". 2007. British Medical Journal (BMJ). Retrieved 16 August 2013. 

External links[edit]