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  • Pharmaceutical industry invests £381 million in UK R&D collaborations - 2019 data on Disclosure UK
Pharmaceutical industry invests £381 million in UK R&D collaborations - 2019 data on Disclosure UK

The data published on Disclosure UK today shows that the industry invested £381.2 million on R&D activities in the UK during 2019, up from £377.3million in 2018.

We’re proud of the work we do with the NHS, without which the development of new medicines and vaccines would be impossible, and will continue strive for the highest levels of openness and transparency in the relationships between industry and healthcare professionals.” Richard Torbett

Disclosure UK is the public, pharmaceutical industry-led database which details aggregate R&D spend, as well as individual payments and benefits in kind made to UK healthcare professionals (HCPs) and healthcare organisations (HCOs).

Last month the ABPI announced it would be publishing 2019 data in a way which minimises any pressure on NHS workers, hospitals and other NHS organisations as they respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This means that some of the 2019 data is not broken down by individual HCPs and HCOs as usual. This was a temporary change because of the pandemic, and the ABPI plans to republish the usual, more detailed data as soon as possible.

The available 2019 figures show:

  • £538.2million has been disclosed by pharmaceutical companies for 2019, compared with £503million in 2018 (excluding joint-working*).
  • £381.2million of this was spent on R&D, compared with £377.3million in 2018.
  • £157million of this was spent on non-R&D collaborations with HCPs and HCOs in 2019, vs £125.7million in 2018 (excluding joint-working*) Much of this increase was due to payments to healthcare organisations.

11 new companies have disclosed payments this year, bringing the total number of companies using Disclosure UK to 143.

Richard Torbett, Chief Executive of the ABPI, said:

“The 2019 disclosure data available so far tells a hugely positive story – the third successive year of increasing investment by industry in UK R&D.  This can only be a good thing for patients and the NHS.

“We will publish the normal breakdown of disclosure data as soon as we are able, and when we do, it should also help us understand more about how the data has changed over time.  

“We’re proud of the work we do with the NHS, without which the development of new medicines and vaccines would be impossible, and will continue strive for the highest levels of openness and transparency in the relationships between industry and healthcare professionals.”

ABPI Code consultation

As part of the work to evolve disclosure under the ABPI Code of Practice for the pharmaceutical industry, the ABPI is consulting on the proposed 2021 Code.  

It includes a proposal for an additional requirement to disclose payments for contracted services paid to members of the public (not representing a patient organisation) to include patients and journalists, from 2022. (to be disclosed in 2023).

People can respond to the consultation here and there is more information on the PMCPA website.

The ABPI exists to make the UK the best place in the world to research, develop and use new medicines. We represent companies of all sizes who invest in discovering the medicines of the future. 

Our members supply cutting edge treatments that improve and save the lives of millions of people. We work in partnership with Government and the NHS so patients can get new treatments faster and the NHS can plan how much it spends on medicines. Every day, we partner with organisations in the life sciences community and beyond to transform lives across the UK.