"The Government’s annual update on its Life Sciences Strategy is to be welcomed. In particular, the announcement of the cancer genome initiative will harness the latest science and technology to take the next transformative step towards personalised medicine. With our strong science base, our biopharmaceutical industry and the potential of the NHS as an engine for research, the UK is in a prime position to lead on the development and delivery of personalised medicines, bringing them to the patients who are most likely to benefit.
"While today’s announcement is very welcome a lot more must be done to maintain the UK’s position as an attractive place for pharmaceutical companies to operate. It is essential therefore that the Government’s Innovation, Health and Wealth programme – which should help to ensure that the latest medicines reach patients in a timely manner – delivers on its key recommendations now that we are one year on since its launch. IHW has made real progress in starting to identify and then break down the barriers to innovation in the NHS, but there is still much more to be done. At a national level, the rate of progress has been promising, however, we have not seen the same kind of motivation or urgency towards delivery at a local level across the NHS.
“If we can create the right environment for pharmaceutical companies to operate in, our industry can be a key driver of much-needed economic growth in the UK. We already directly employ 67,000 people and add £9bn to UK GDP and there is so much more that we could achieve. But real challenges remain. Our share of global clinical trials is falling, from six per cent in 2000 to just 1.4 per cent now, while NHS spending on the newest medicines is set to decline significantly as a proportion of total expenditure over the next three years. We need to reverse these trends so that patients in the UK can get the medicines they need, when they need them. A failure to act will make global pharmaceutical companies think twice before investing here and launching the most modern medicines - and this could potentially impact on patients.”
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
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.