The UK-based pharmaceutical industry is at a crossroads and retaining it as the UK’s leading science-based industry depends critically on restoring its relationship with Government, Nigel Brooksby, outgoing President of the ABPI, has warned.
Speaking of the Government’s decision to renegotiate the UK price control mechanism, the Pharmaceutical Pricing Regulations Scheme, two years early, Mr Brooksby says in the ABPI’s Annual Report, published today: “The Government’s decision dented business confidence and the reaction from our global head offices moved the matter beyond the UK, as they began to question the integrity of the UK investment environment.”
But Mr Brooksby, whose last day of office as ABPI President this is, remains optimistic that the Government wishes to retain and build on a strong relationship with the pharmaceutical industry.
“We are committed to working with the Government to retain leadership in the UK; provide value for money; encourage and reward innovation; assist in the uptake of new medicines and, importantly, help restore industry confidence through predictability, stability and sustainability,” he says.
The latest statistics contained in the Annual Report show the importance of the pharmaceutical industry to the health of the UK and to its economy. They show that sales of medicines accounted for just 9.2 per cent of NHS costs in 2007, and that they cost just 46p per person per day. Prices are 24 per cent lower in real terms than ten years ago. Yet UK patient access to innovative medicines remains one of the lowest in Europe.
At the same time, UK-based pharmaceutical companies carry out around a quarter of all business research and development in the country and spend more than a third of their NHS sales revenues on R&D – more than £10 million every day. And much of this R&D focuses on the major areas of unmet need, including cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer’s.
This results in pharmaceutical exports of £14.6 billion in 2007, creating a trade surplus for the economy of £4.3 billion. More than one in five of the world’s top medicines were discovered and developed in the UK – more than any other country except the USA and as many as the rest of Europe combined.
NOTES TO EDITORS:
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