Notes on the Medicines and Medical Devices Bill


The Medicines and Medical Devices Bill had its first reading in the House of Commons on 13 February 2020. The Bill proposes a legislative programme for the regulation of medicines and medical devices in the UK at the end of the EU exit transition period, currently 31 December 2020.

It is imperative that the Bill provides for high standards of safety and is forward-looking so as to capture the fast pace of innovation in these areas.

In this briefing note, Professor Muireann Quigley, Dr Rachael Dickson, Professor Jean McHale and Dr Laura Downey outline their research and policy recommendations ahead of the Bill’s second reading in Parliament.

Download the full Medicines and Medical Devices Bill 2019-20 Briefing Note

Medicines and Medical Devices Bill - report cover

Executive summary

      • Patient and user safety with regards to medical devices is paramount. This should be prioritised in situations where there are competing considerations such as “attractiveness of the UK” as to the conduct of clinical trials and supply of medicines and medical devices.
      • The existing regulatory framework for medicines and medical devices has become complex and unwieldly. Legislation which consolidates regulation on each these areas (separately) is needed. A requirement to introduce this should be included in the Bill.
      • The Medicines and Medical Devices Bill confers on the Secretary of State an extensive range of powers to make regulations pertaining to medicines, clinical trials, and medical devices. This is necessary in the short-term to facilitate alignment with those parts of EU law which are to be implemented post-transition; notably the EU Clinical Trials Regulation and the In-Vitro Devices Regulation. However, the on-going use of delegated powers in this area should be time-limited.