• Press Office

    Posted in category News Release by Press Office on 23/01/2014

    Government has made progress delivering Strategy for UK Life Sciences, but there’s more to do, says LifeSciencesUK

A review of the government’s Strategy for UK Life Sciences has found that eight out of the 13 initiatives reviewed have made notable progress towards the actions and commitments set out in the original strategy, but there is still much more work to do to meet the strategy’s original objectives.


​The review was undertaken by the four leading UK human healthcare trade associations that are partners in LifeSciencesUK: Association of British Healthcare Industries (ABHI), Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), BioIndustry Association (BIA) and British In Vitro Diagnostic Association (BIVDA). Their report provides an ‘honest assessment’ of the challenges and areas for further work. It looks at the flagship commitments that the organisations believe have the greatest potential in enabling the life sciences sector to thrive, grow and ultimately deliver benefits for patients in the UK.

The life science industry is seen as a jewel in the crown of the UK economy and is a fundamental part of the growth strategy. The Strategy for UK Life Sciences shows a commitment to support the UK as a global centre of excellence. However, the government has recognised that in order to win the global race, it needs to do more to attract new investment and create new jobs and economic opportunities in an increasingly competitive industry.

LifeSciencesUK welcomes the positive developments that are already underway and praises initiatives such as the Biomedical Catalyst and the Clinical Practice Research Datalink, which have improved the opportunities for collaboration between individuals and organisations across the NHS, academia, industry and voluntary sector. 

However, they recognise that ‘beyond doubt’ the implementation of some government commitments has been inconsistent and, in some cases, yet to deliver anything close to their stated ambition. These initiatives include the Innovation Scorecard and the Earlier Access to Medicines Scheme.

Peter Ellingworth, Chief Executive of the ABHI, said:

“The Strategy for UK Life Sciences has made real progress over the past two years, which has had a positive impact on the life sciences industry, something ABHI would strongly like to see continue. It is important that the good work done on initiatives such as the growth of the Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) fund to £100 million, Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs), the Innovation Scorecard and the NICE Implementation Collaborative (NIC) is not undermined. By maintaining a strong and productive relationship with industry, the NHS could deliver the savings that would remove the need for short term cost saving measures, such as those seen around procurement, and the cancellation of initiatives such as the Specialised Commissioning Innovation Fund. The role of the AHSNs as a catalyst for the spread of innovation should be strengthened by committing to funding for five years. ABHI remains committed to working with government to improve the uptake of innovative technologies, improving patient care across the NHS and to bringing the best of global health experience to bear.”

Stephen Whitehead, Chief Executive of the ABPI, said:

“With this report we must celebrate the successes we have so far seen relating to the Strategy for UK Life Sciences, but we also need to be realistic in our appraisal and acknowledge that a lot more needs to be done to ensure that patients truly benefit from the innovation that exists in the life sciences sector. The pharmaceutical industry is ready to play its part in defining next steps and working together with government and the NHS to move the strategy forward and deliver on the ambitions set for the UK economy, the NHS and patients.”

Steve Bates, Chief Executive of the BIA, said:

“The Coalition Government has made progress with its Strategy for UK Life Sciences. In particular the Biomedical Catalyst has been well received by companies across the bioscience sector and the National Biologics Manufacturing Centre will provide a valuable resource for the development of new technologies. However, the failure to introduce a fully funded Earlier Access to Medicines Scheme, which will allow UK patients to benefit from the most promising new treatments, needs to be addressed immediately.”

Doris-Ann Williams, Chief Executive of BIVDA, said:

“The last two years of the Government’s Strategy for UK Life Sciences have seen lots of good progress, and BIVDA is confident that the relationships that have been built between industry and the NHS stand us in good stead for the future. However, the finance aspect of IHW has still not been resolved and, together with recent changes to procurement policy, there remains cause for concern. In-Vitro Diagnostics have a growing role to play in the shift towards outcome-based commissioning and in tackling antimicrobial resistance, and BIVDA would welcome dialogue on how we can work constructively with the NHS on cost containment without losing sight of how In-Vitro Diagnostics can improve patient care.”

Notes to editors

LifeSciencesUK appraisal of Strategy for UK Life Sciences can be viewed at: http://www.abpi.org.uk/our-work/library/Pages/default.aspx

The report looks at 13 initiatives within the Strategy for UK Life Sciences and each one has been appraised with a positive, negative or neutral scoring:

  • Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) (n)

  • Aligning financial, operational and performance incentives (-)

  • Biomedical Catalyst (+)

  • Cell Therapy Catapult (+)

  • Clinical Practice Datalink (CPRD) (+)

  • Earlier Access to Medicines Scheme (-)

  • Improved NHS management of clinical trials (n)

  • National Biologics Manufacturing Centre (NBMC) (+)

  • NHS Innovation Scorecard (-)

  • NICE Implementation Collaborative (NIC) (n)

  • Procurement (-)

  • Specialised Services Commissioning Innovation Fund (SSCIF) (-)

  • Transparency in local formularies (n)


(+) = the report provides a positive appraisal of progress

(-) = the report provides a negative appraisal of progress

(n) = the report provides a neutral appraisal of progress

The ‘eight out of 13’ assumption is based on those initiatives receiving a positive or neutral scoring.

About the Strategy for UK Life Sciences

The Strategy for UK Life Sciences was published in December 2011 and outlined a vision for the UK to be a global leader in the life sciences, and included a series of concrete actions designed to nurture the sector and make this vision a reality. It was accompanied by the NHS Chief Executive’s Innovation, Health and Wealth report, which was designed to improve the adoption and diffusion of innovation in the NHS. At the same time, two independent Life Science Champions were appointed by the government to support implementation of these documents.

About LifeSciencesUK and the organisations it represents

LifeSciencesUK, representing the human healthcare industry

LifeSciencesUK brings together the UK’s four leading human healthcare industries to ensure the UK is the destination of choice for international life sciences investment. Its membership includes the ABHI, ABPI, BIA and BIVDA. For information about LifeSciencesUK contact: info@lifesciences.org.uk

Association of British Healthcare Industries

The ABHI is the industry association for the medical technology sector in the UK. ABHI’s mission is to champion the benefits and use of safe and effective medical technologies to deliver high quality patient outcomes. With over 240 members, ABHI leads the advocacy of the industry in order to advance access to medical technology. Our membership includes some of the leading multinational businesses in the sector in the UK right the way through to small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).

Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry

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

BioIndustry Association

Founded over 20 years ago at the infancy of biotechnology, the BIA is the trade association for innovative enterprises involved in UK bioscience. Members include emerging and more established bioscience companies; pharmaceutical companies; academic, research and philanthropic organisations; and service providers to the bioscience sector. The BIA represents the interests of its members to a broad section of stakeholders, from government and regulators to patient groups and the media. Our goal is to secure the UK's position as a global hub and as the best location for innovative research and commercialisation, enabling our world-leading research base to deliver healthcare solutions that can truly make a difference to people's lives. www.bioindustry.org

British In Vitro Diagnostics Association

 BIVDA represents the IVD Industry in the UK, to Government, professional bodies, the public, and at the European Diagnostic Manufacturers Association. Giving support to members on regulatory issues, BIVDA also promotes the clinical and cost utility of IVDs in the provision of effective healthcare, both in acute diagnosis and in the prediction and prevention of disease.

For further information, please contact:

ABHI - Dan Jones, Director, Communications, daniel.jones@abhi.org.uk

ABPI – ABPI press office, 020 7747 1441 or pressoffice@abpi.org.uk

BIA – Robert Winder, Head of Communications, 020 7630 2191, 07825 942 934 or rwinder@bioindustry.org

BIVDA – Ian Summersgill, External Affairs, 020 7921 9596, 07738 056 722 or ian@bivda.co.uk

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