Love-ins, Loose Talk and Liability: MHRA board meeting, January 2023

This is the recording of the latest Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) Board Meeting, held on 17 January 2023. It’s been a very busy couple of months for the MHRA since the last board meeting.

This time, the public attenders witnessed even more of the same self-congratulatory love-ins as in November. There was a reluctant admission from Stephen Lightfoot in the chair that the MHRA was not independent, but instead was accountable to the executive branch of government in the form of the Department of Health and Social Care. Clearly, Britain's medicines regulator is having an identity crisis. Is the MHRA a regulator or an enabler? Who owns the regulator?

Hoping it wouldn’t be noticed, CEO Dame June Raine lowered her voice when acknowledging furtively that funding from the Coalition of Epidemic Preparedness Innovation (CEPI) and the Gates Foundation had been critical in being able to ‘fund the pandemic’. You would already have known as much in spring 2020 if you were a UK Column website reader.

But what was the funding needed for? It may be time for another Freedom of Information request. Blink and you may miss it. For UK Column viewers who subscribe, the clip was exclusively shown on UK Column News Extra at 10 minutes into the 18 January episode.