The boost given to research and development in the Budget has been welcomed by the research-based pharmaceutical industry in Britain.
21 Feb 2007 Posted in News Release By Press Office
"We welcome any steps that can boost the UK's bioscience-based industry in the face of global competition," said Dr Richard Barker, Director General of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI).
The ABPI commended the Budget's focus on investment in science, including an additional £100 million for partnerships between academia and industry. The pharmaceutical industry works on 330 collaborative ventures with academia in the UK and trains 670 PhD students. And an above-inflation rise in the science budget - if translated into lab research - will clearly be welcome.
The reduced rate of Corporation Tax will also be a modest but welcome step in the right direction in support of high technology bio-manufacturing, where tax breaks in other countries have had an adverse effect on the UK's global position. However, capital allowances are also significant and we will need to study the net effect.
"The UK-based pharmaceutical industry spends some £9 million a day on researching new and innovative medicines, and the Chancellor's moves to reinforce UK biopharmaceutical R&D can only help the UK in its bid to attract more of this highly skilled work. Both basic biomedical research and translational medicine - bringing medicines from the lab to the clinic - are crucial elements in UK competitiveness, as Sir David Cooksey highlighted in his report," said Dr Barker.
The continued increased investment in the NHS has received praise, although the ABPI stressed that additional money should be used to benefit patients. "With increased resource, it is to be hoped that the remaining barriers preventing patients being given access to the latest, innovative medicines can be removed to bring benefit to the health of men, women and children," said Dr Barker.