The Chief Executive of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) has responded to today's Budget.
The 2017 Spring Budget featured a number policies and spending commitments of interest to the pharmaceutical industry in the UK.
R&D tax review
The Chancellor announced that the Treasury Review of R&D tax credits found that the regime is competitive. However, he “accepted industry calls for a reduction in administrative burdens around the scheme and will shortly bring forward measures to deliver them”.
£270m investment in the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund
The Budget provided this investment for 2017/18 for electric vehicles, artificial intelligence and for "accelerating patient access to new drugs and treatments through developing brand new medicine manufacturing technologies."
The Chancellor announced £250m over the next four years to ‘continue to build the pipeline of high-skilled research talent’ including £90m for an additional 1,000 PhD places, 85% of which will be in STEM disciplines. £160m will support new fellowships for early and mid-career researchers and £100m will be allocated to attract science and research professionals to the UK.
NHS and Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs)
The Chancellor announced £100m to the NHS in England for capital investment in A&E departments to help manage demand effectively. £325m over the next three years has also been invested to support STP proposals for capital investment.
Mike Thompson, ABPI CEO, said:
“Today’s Budget underlines the importance of taking a coherent approach to incentivise the development and growth of the pharmaceutical industry in the UK.
The Chancellor’s confirmation of funding to develop medicines manufacturing technologies and develop STEM skills is very welcome. However, what is missing from today’s Budget are measures to make the treatments and medicines we discover and develop in the UK, available to patients here.
Right now, for every 100 European patients who can access new medicines in the first year of launch, on average just 15 UK patients receive the same.
We are committed to work with Government on the upcoming industrial strategy for Life Sciences, which is the best chance we have to reverse this.
To be effective the industrial strategy must set out a clear way forward for improving patient access, alongside supporting high quality jobs and attracting greater inward investment.”
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About the ABPI
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. We represent companies who supply more than 80 per cent of all branded medicines used by the NHS and who are researching and developing the majority of the current medicines pipeline, ensuring that the UK remains at the forefront of helping patients prevent and overcome disease.
Globally our industry is researching and developing more than 7,000 new medicines.
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.