Call to action to boost vital medicines research

Posted on 14 Sep 2009 by The Manufacturer

The Association of British Pharmaceutical Industries (ABPI) has today called on government to focus on life sciences for the country’s economic recovery, the safeguarding of jobs and the future health of the nation.

The organisation has released a report called Prescription for Innovation which has found backing from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and Imperial College. It explains that rapid improvements in the R&D environment are required to remain competitive in attracting and retaining investment in the UK and the top-level jobs that go with it.

Among the manifesto’s key calls for action are:

• Delivering better patient health by creating incentives for clinical trials and better patient access to medicines through improved NICE processes.

• Driving the industry’s contribution to the UK economy by reviewing the tax system and introducing new tax regimes to support the generation, retention and exploitation of intellectual property in the UK.

• Giving real power to the body in charge of ensuring the uptake on innovative medicines so that patients actually receive them.

• Changing the official definition of the value of medicines to make it align with the view of the public, patients and healthcare professionals.

Chris Brinsmead is president of the ABPI. He said: “Political leadership is critical to ensuring that the industry continues to improve people’s health, gives value to the NHS and provides a return to the taxpayer in terms of its investment in the UK. This manifesto sets out industry’s vision of how this is to be achieved.”

Richard Lambert, director general of the CBI, added: “The pharmaceutical industry is one of the UK’s greatest success stories, driving a quarter of all R&D investment and supporting over 250,000 jobs.

“However, the industry is deeply concerned about the UK’s regulatory climate and, if we are to maintain or improve our position in the globalised life sciences arena, then more must be done to encourage investment and innovation.

“The sector is crucial to the UK’s recovery and acts as an indicator of our attractiveness in a globalised marketplace. It must be carefully supported, or research into new medicines will head elsewhere.”

The Prescription for Innovation report can be downloaded in PDF format from the ABPI’s website.