The opening comes after two successful years of activity by the ABPI Cymru Wales Industry Group (WIG), which was established in response to devolution and the changing political environment in Wales.
"It is very pleasing that, after all the good work that WIG has done here, we now have full-time representation of the industry in Wales," said Dr Richard Greville, Director of ABPI Cymru Wales. "We will be building on this solid foundation to ensure that this industry continues to be a success story for Wales and to develop the medicines that will benefit the people of Wales and the rest of the UK."
The pharmaceutical industry is a significant sector in the Principality; it is the aim of the ABPI to develop further its contribution to patients, the economy and academia. Already, companies allied with the ABPI Cymru WIG:
Provide more than 1,000 skilled jobs in Wales.
Manufacture exports in excess of £10 million.
Make a significant contribution to funding postgraduate training at Welsh academic institutions.
Provide in excess of £800,000 of support to service-based posts in the Welsh NHS.
Contribute over £800,000 to the continuous professional development of pharmacists and other health service personnel.
Are represented on the All Wales Medicines Strategy Group and NHS Industry Forum.
Have regular contacts and work in partnership with Assembly Members and Welsh Assembly Government officials.
"I am pleased that the ABPI has recognised the distinctive Welsh health policies that are being developed in Wales by opening offices in Cardiff," said the Minister at the opening.
"I am aware that ABPI is already represented on many of our working groups and is readily consulted on changes being considered which affects its members."
Jane Hutt added: "Your successes and achievements in the pharmaceutical industry mean that ABPI is recognised as an association with great understanding of the sector it works in. The pharmaceutical industry and the NHS have always had a solid relationship and I hope that the Welsh Assembly can build an equally strong relationship with the ABPI."
The pharmaceutical industry aims to provide good value to the NHS in Wales, as elsewhere. For example, the price of an average prescription is equivalent to just five per cent of the cost of a day in hospital. Additionally, the personal annual spend on prescriptions in the UK is less than in most other European nation, while more than 50 per cent of all medicines cost the NHS less than the prescription charge. Despite this, the rate of uptake of new medicines in Wales and the rest of the UK is among the lowest in Europe.
Much of the future work of ABPI Cymru Wales will be channelled through partnership activity with the Welsh Assembly. Many partnerships have already been established, including:
ABPI Cymru Wales Diabetes Sub-Group members were the main sponsors of the Diabetes NSF Implementation Roadshows, held across Wales during September.
ABPI Cymru Wales Coronary Heart Disease Sub-group have established a partnership agreement with the Cardiac Network co-ordinators group and is looking forward to sharing their resources with the Regional Cardiac Networks.
ABPI Cymru Wales Old People Sub-group chair has been invited onto the project board of the Older People NSF.
Director of ABPI Cymru Wales has been invited on to the Medicines Group of the forthcoming Children's NSF project board.
The offer of manpower assistance from an ABPI member company has been accepted on a secondment basis to facilitate the progression of a Respiratory NSF.
ABPI Cymru Wales is the principal sponsor of the Welsh Assembly Government initiative Welsh Language in Healthcare Awards.
ABPI Cymru Wales can be found at:
Floor 4, Caspian Point 2, Pierhead Street, Cardiff Bay, Cardiff CF10 4DQ; Tel: 02920 454297 or Fax: 02920 454 298
For further information, please contact: ABPI Press Office 020 7747 1410