• Press Office

    Posted in category ABPI statement by Press Office on 03/12/2012

    ABPI Chief Executive comments on new study on pharmaceutical R&D costs

ABPI Chief Executive Stephen Whitehead has issued a statement in response to the publication of a new report by the Office of Health Economics (OHE) which shows that the research and development process to create new medicines is becoming more costly.


Commenting on the OHE study, Stephen Whitehead, Chief Executive of the ABPI said:

"These findings paint a very clear picture – researching and developing medicines is hugely expensive and the costs are rising year on year. The reasons for this are varied – added regulation, increasingly complex science and the rising cost of capital. But as the cost of research and development (R&D) continues to rise, the price of medicines in the UK remains amongst the lowest in Europe and companies struggle to get their medicines bought by the NHS and then used to treat patients. Combined, these factors are squeezing revenues and making it more difficult for companies to reinvest profits back in to the discovery of new medicines to combat disease.

"Pharmaceutical companies are doing all they can to mitigate these rising R&D costs, such as making decisions earlier in the medicine development process about whether a treatment is viable or not.  Similarly, companies are partnering more and more with academia and other life science companies to share the risk and reward of developing medicines whilst bringing down the cost. But the Government must play its part too. We need to ensure that companies get a fair reward for the treatments companies create, and once the huge investment has been made bringing a medicine to market, patients must be able to access it.

"We must get this right and ensure new treatments are created in the UK. Medicines are the life and soul of healthcare not only in the NHS but across the world – without their use, we would have no way to combat disease. Medicines are also central to keeping the NHS on a firm financial footing by keeping people healthier and out of expensive hospital care."

Media enquiries

ABPI Press Office
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7747 1410 or +44 (0) 20 7747 1441
Mobile: +44 (0) 7850 312064 or +44 (0) 7808 641811
Email: pressoffice@abpi.org.uk 

Notes to editors

The ABPI represents innovative research-based biopharmaceutical companies, large, medium and small, leading an exciting new era of biosciences in the UK.

Our industry, a major contributor to the economy of the UK, brings life-saving and life-enhancing medicines to patients. Our members supply 90 per cent of all medicines used by the NHS, and are researching and developing over two-thirds of the current medicines pipeline, ensuring that the UK remains at the forefront of helping patients prevent and overcome diseases.

The ABPI is recognised by Government as the industry body negotiating on behalf of the branded pharmaceutical industry, for statutory consultation requirements including the pricing scheme for medicines in the UK.  

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