Responding to today’s Budget, Stephen Whitehead, Chief Executive of the ABPI, said: “The Government has made it clear that the innovative pharmaceutical industry has a vital part to play in leading the UK’s economic growth. The Budget today reminds us how tough the challenge will be to grow the economy out of stagnation."


Stephen added:

“The contribution that the UK pharmaceutical industry makes is absolutely crucial to future economic growth. The UK is already a major centre of R&D in the global biopharmaceutical sector. We continue to outstrip all other industries in terms of R&D expenditure and spend more than £13m every day on research1. Our industry employs around 67,000 people directly in the UK – around a third of these are in highly skilled innovative R&D jobs2. Each employee in the industry contributes, on average, £215,000 per year to the UK’s GDP3 and the industry generates a trade surplus of £5.4bn for the UK every year.

“The UK is in a tough global race to attract investment and compete with other economies across the world.  Investment is highly mobile and one of the key planks of the Government’s growth plan is to make sure that the UK is one of the best places in the world for the life sciences industry to invest in and operate. We were pleased therefore to hear that the rate of corporation tax is to be reduced further and that the ‘above the line’ R&D tax credit will be increased to 10 per cent.

“But we need to recognise that the business environment in the UK is very challenging. The UK continues to lag behind in the adoption of new medicines compared to many other European countries and the UK’s global share of clinical trials has fallen in recent years. The pharmaceutical industry in the UK is now at a crucial moment and we must reverse these trends if we are serious about maintaining the UK’s position.

“The industry stands ready to be an engine for economic recovery, but our message is simple: where such engines exist, they should not be starved of the fuel required to power growth. The UK needs to ensure that innovative medicines are reimbursed at a fair price and used rapidly and consistently throughout the NHS.”

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

Notes to editors

  1. ONS, Business Enterprise Research and Development 2010, November 2011
  2. ONS, Business Enterprise Research and Development (2008, 2009, 2010), November 2011
  3. ONS, Annual Business Survey 2010, (Section C, Manufacturing), June 2012
  4. 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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