The Government White Paper on innovation has created a challenging vision that encompasses a wide range of policies and actions that need to be brought together if the UK is to retain its leadership in the global economy, the ABPI said today.
As the Chancellor pointed out yesterday in his Budget speech, the pharmaceutical industry represents a full quarter of all private sector R&D, and is therefore the leading UK stakeholder in the creation and delivery of innovation.
The paper, published by the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS), highlights the need for Government departments and agencies to increase their procurement of innovative products and services – an ambition that the ABPI wholeheartedly endorses.
“While DIUS is absolutely right to identify the role Government can play in stimulating innovation, it is at variance with the current NHS reality of providing patients with modern medicines,” said Dr Richard Barker, Director General of the ABPI.
“We are seeing constant pressure from NICE and local NHS decision-makers that prevents doctors from using the most innovative treatments and persuades them to use older generic medicines.
“Further downward pressure on prices would be an additional disincentive to the development of innovative medicines in the UK, especially given the intense global competition for research activities.”
ABPI figures show that the take-up of medicines launched within the past five years is lower in the UK than in the USA and other comparable European countries, including France, Germany, Spain and Italy.
DIUS’s paper, Innovation Nation, also places welcome focus on sustaining the research base and enhancing skills. The ABPI has considerable concerns on the critical skills supply for the industry, not just in terms of the numbers entering university to study relevant science subjects but also in the knowledge, quality and practical science capability of graduates. Further progress in addressing this issue remains key to the UK-based pharmaceutical industry.
For further information, please contact: ABPI Press office 020 7747 1410