What we do
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency regulates medicines, medical devices and blood components for transfusion in the UK.
Recognised globally as an authority in its field, the agency plays a leading role in protecting and improving public health and supports innovation through scientific research and development.
The agency has 3 centres:
- the Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD), a data research service that aims to improve public health by using anonymised NHS clinical data
- the National Institute for Biological Standards and Control (NIBSC), a global leader in the standardisation and control of biological medicines
- the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), the UK’s regulator of medicines, medical devices and blood components for transfusion, responsible for ensuring their safety, quality and effectiveness
Who we are
We’re an executive agency of the Department of Health.
We employ more than 1,200 people and have facilities in London, York and South Mimms, Hertfordshire.
The agency is responsible for:
- ensuring that medicines, medical devices and blood components for transfusion meet applicable standards of safety, quality and efficacy
- ensuring that the supply chain for medicines, medical devices and blood components is safe and secure
- promoting international standardisation and harmonisation to assure the effectiveness and safety of biological medicines
- helping to educate the public and healthcare professionals about the risks and benefits of medicines, medical devices and blood components, leading to safer and more effective use
- supporting innovation and research and development that’s beneficial to public health
- influencing UK, EU and international regulatory frameworks so that they’re risk-proportionate and effective at protecting public health
Some of the agency’s priorities from our 5-year Corporate Plan, 2013-18, include:
- making our regulation more supportive of safe innovation
- supporting the government’s growth agenda through the life science strategy, which includes early access to medicines schemes and the adaptive licensing pilot
- introducing a combined reporting system for adverse incidents, medicines, medical devices, blood and counterfeit products under the established YC brand to ensure patient safety
- working with our partners across the UK, Europe and globally to prevent counterfeit and substandard products entering the supply chain
- establishing a centre of excellence for advanced therapies, including stem cells, at NIBSC
- increasing the volume of observational and interventional research, including clinical trials, using CPRD data
- engaging and networking more with healthcare professionals, patients and the public, including by working jointly with others in the health and social care system
In 2016 we published a Corporate Plan Refresh document to review and update the Agency’s strategic priorities halfway through the 2013-18 Corporate Plan period.
Every year our staff are invited to speak at conferences and other events around the world. Read our guide to booking MHRA speakers.
Our advisory bodies
We have created a number of independent advisory committees to provide impartial advice to ministers about the regulation of medicines and medical devices. These committees may also establish working groups to address specific problems. Members of these committees may receive a fee and claim some expenses.
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