Colette Goldrick, newly-appointed Northern Ireland ABPI Director, has welcomed the news.
“The re-balancing of the economy in Northern Ireland will only be brought about by growing the private sector. The fact that business R&D has risen to over £389m - its highest ever level - is a great vote of confidence in local businesses.”
She stressed that the ABPI is keen to work in partnership with healthcare, academia and providers of other health technologies such as homecare and innovative delivery devices to help attract research and development into new treatments in Northern Ireland.
"Northern Ireland has up to now had a fairly good record of using new medicines in the local health service and we have a growing and significant pharmaceutical and life sciences sector. We are delighted to see that Ministers are so supportive of the ‘health and wealth agenda’ – investing in new medicines for local patients and encouraging the research-based pharmaceutical industry to bring research and well paid jobs to Northern Ireland.
"It is also great to see research and development in higher education rise to £165m. Many ABPI member companies work closely with both world-class universities in Northern Ireland and we were delighted when Queen’s recently announced the setting up of a Centre for Experimental Medicine.
“The ABPI is constantly striving to improve the environment for R&D spending in the UK. It would be a great achievement if we could bring more of that spending to Northern Ireland. And it would be even better if we could encourage more rapid uptake of new medicines in NI based on the strong and growing evidence base of the benefits they have brought to patients here. That way we will complete the ‘ virtuous circle’ - enabling innovators get a return on their investment to stimulate further growth, while driving improved local outcomes in priority areas such as heart disease, cancer, MS and rheumatoid arthritis.”
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. ABPI NI has more than 25 member companies.
The pharmaceutical industry is a major contributor to the UK economy. Our members supply 90 per cent of all medicines used by people in Northern Ireland, 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.