On 23 January, the Government published its Industrial Strategy Green Paper. In addition, Government is working with the ABPI and other stakeholders to develop a Life Sciences Industrial Strategy.
The ABPI welcomes the Government's new Industrial Strategy, and in particular the priority the Government has given to the biopharmaceutical industry in recognition of its contribution to the UK economy. The 2016 Autumn Statement announcement of an additional £2bn per year for research and development was a demonstration of Government's commitment to partner with industry in the pursuit of new medicines to save and improve lives in the UK and around the world.
To maximise the economic benefits to the UK, an industrial strategy for life sciences will need to consider the whole life-cycle for medicines, including how medicines are used by the NHS, as an integral part of creating a world-class offer for biopharmaceutical investment and jobs.
The pharmaceutical sector's contribution to the UK economy
The pharmaceutical industry is a major contributor to the economy of the UK and brings life-saving and life-enhancing medicines to patients. The ABPI represents 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 the UK remains at the forefront of helping patients prevent, manage and overcome disease. The UK biopharmaceutical industry has:
Supporting a world-leading life sciences hub in the UK
Beyond the strong ideas already identified to further invest in our science base, a life sciences strategy should:
1. Make the UK a world leader in the use of health data
Health data allows for improvement to be measured and productivity to be increased. The NHS is in a unique position to capitalise on its national coverage and use data, with appropriate safeguards, to address the sustainability challenges it faces. This will also give researchers the best possible environment to both develop new medicines and demonstrate their effectiveness, making the UK the launch pad of modern medicine to the world.
2. Transform the NHS into an innovation-led organisation in order to enable it to deliver for the projected growth in demand
The ageing population of the UK will generate a consequential increase in health care demand. Unless the NHS can adopt innovation at scale to become more productive it face even greater challenges in the future. By working together to transform delivery models, patients can benefit from the latest treatments while the NHS improves its performance and companies are encouraged to invest and develop medicines in the UK.
3. Continue public investment in the UK's innovation and manufacturing infrastructure
We welcome the government's commitment to innovation and its investment in science and research. This is important as we prepare to leave the EU, to ensure the UK can continue to be a world-leader in science. The ABPI has also identified opportunities for investment in the UK's medicines manufacturing infrastructure.