Two initiatives that will boost the UK's research and development effort, announced in the Chancellor of the Exchequer's Pre-Budget Report, have been welcomed by the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI).
In particular, the ABPI has applauded the Government's pledge to examine how best it can help firms that are key to boosting R&D in the UK, including through tax credits.
"The ABPI has long argued that, while the R&D tax credits provide a very welcome incentive for smaller pharmaceutical companies, they do not help such companies to continue growing beyond a certain size," said Dr Philip Wright, Director of Science and Technology at the ABPI.
"We are delighted to hear that the Government has recognised the R&D tax credit gap for growing biopharmaceutical companies, and that it is going to see how best it can help the mid-sized firms that are often lagging behind their US counterparts."
The pharmaceutical industry in the UK spends nearly £10 million every day on the research and development of new, innovative medicines, amounting to about one-third of all UK industrial R&D.
The ABPI has also welcomed the establishment of a regular forum to strengthen the partnership between Government, business, academia and other R&D stakeholders. The Chancellor has asked Sir Tom McKillop, Chief Executive of AstraZeneca, to chair the group.
"The announcement within the past two weeks of the closure of Exeter University's Chemistry Department - the latest in a number of such closures - gives additional urgency to the establishment of this forum," said Dr Wright.
"We must have the right environment to encourage young people to take up and pursue science, and we are anxious to take part in this group's activities to foster that end."
For further information, please contact: ABPI Press Office 020 7747 1410