The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has announced that it will scale back operations further in the context of higher than expected staff losses due to the forced relocation from London to Amsterdam, caused by Brexit, Reuters reports.

“Overall, EMA expects a staff loss of about 30 percent, with a high degree of uncertainty regarding mid-term staff retention,” the institution said in a statement on Wednesday.

Currently, the EMA has about 900 employees and will be the biggest EU institution affected by Brexit. It will have to relocate to Amsterdam, a city chosen by EU ministers, by the end of March 2019, when the UK officially leaves the Union.

Initially, staff surveys suggested that about 19 percent of staff might not want to relocate to Amsterdam, but EMA now thinks this might have been a significant underestimation. One reason is that 135 short-term contract staff will no longer be able to work at EMA due to Dutch employment rules.

To cope with the higher staff loss, the EMA will cut back on a number of its activities, including international collaboration, revision of guidelines and clinical data publication.

“In the short- to mid-term EMA will have to reprioritise its resources to fully maintain its core activities related to the evaluation and supervision of medicines to the level of quality and within the timelines expected,” it said.


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