The ABPI is seeking an early meeting with John Denham, the new Secretary of State for the newly formed Department of Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS) announced in today's reshuffle (June 28), and looks forward to a constructive dialogue with all the relevant government departments.
The ABPI welcomes the decision to align closely higher education with UK strategic needs within DIUS as the UK needs more and better qualified graduates with skills relevant for the pharmaceutical industry especially in ‘hard’ sciences such as chemistry and physics.
In our first correspondence with the new minister the ABPI will also stress the importance of maintaining strong lines of communication following the splitting of schools and higher education. Clearly we need a continuous skills pipeline extending from a student's earliest contact with science to advanced degrees in disciplines like clinical pharmacology and medicinal chemistry.
Dr Richard Barker, Director General of the ABPI said: "We look forward to understanding this new structure better and to working with the departments to ensure that the UK trains the people it needs to remain at the forefront of global scientific and medical innovation."
We also look forward to working closely with new Health Secretary Alan Johnson to ensure ongoing reform of the NHS takes further advantage of cost-effective innovative medicines and of patterns of care that intervene earlier in chronic disease - both sources of increased value for money.