Leading dementia charity backs call to protect healthcare and research in Brexit talks

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By Philip Tubby | Wednesday 02 August 2017

Alzheimer’s Research UK, the UK’s leading dementia research charity, has backed a call from the Brexit Health Alliance for the government to protect patients’ interests in Brexit negotiations.

The Alliance, which brings together the NHS, medical research, industry, patient and public health organisations, has warned today that patients could be at risk if the Brexit talks do not consider issues such as healthcare research, access to new medicines and public health policies. The Alliance has listed five priorities it believes the negotiators should consider:

  1. Collaboration on research and innovation.
  2. Regulatory alignment for the benefit of patients and public health.
  3. Preservation of reciprocal healthcare arrangements.
  4. Robust co-ordination mechanisms for public health and wellbeing.
  5. A strong funding commitment to health and public health.

In dementia research, the UK is currently leading the way with recent statistics showing the country’s research productivity has almost doubled over six years, compared to much smaller increases in other countries. At the same time, the number of UK dementia publications that are internationally collaborative have increased. But Alzheimer’s Research UK has already outlined concerns that if this collaborative effort is threatened, momentum could be lost, leading to unnecessary delays in the search for much-needed treatments.

Dr Alison Evans, Head of Policy at Alzheimer’s Research UK, the UK’s leading dementia research charity, said:

“It’s vital that people with dementia do not lose out as we negotiate our exit from the European Union. Research offers our best hope for transforming the treatments we can offer to people with dementia, and if medical research is to continue to thrive we must protect cross-border collaborations that are helping to speed up our efforts. New breakthroughs in research must reach the people who need them quickly, and co-operation on issues such as regulation of new treatments is crucial to ensure people with dementia in the UK can benefit from advances in medicine. Alzheimer’s Research UK backs today’s call and would urge the government to ensure that these issues are firmly on the table during Brexit negotiations.”


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Philip Tubby