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HDA UK Media And Political Bulletin – 23 November 2017

Media and Political Bulletin

23 November 2017

Media Summary

Budget 2017: Reaction from the UK pharmaceutical industry

ABPI, 22 November 2017

The ABPI reports on the Chancellor’s Autumn Budget statement, welcoming the Chancellor’s commitment to the life sciences sector. The Association also published a concise summary of the key budget announcements that will affect the pharmaceutical and healthcare wholesale industries, these include:

NHS investment: Increasing NHS investment through £10bn in capital investment, plus an extra £2.8bn in resource funding for NHS England.

Research and development: £2.3bn of additional spending on R&D, taking total direct R&D spending to £12.5 billion per annum by 2021-22. An increase in R&D tax credits to 12%.

Access to finance: A £20bn Patient Capital Fund over the next ten years.

Access to talent: Amendments to the Tier 1 (Exceptional talent) visa scheme. Shortening the route to apply for settlement after three years and “reduce red tape” in hiring international researchers and graduates.​

Mike Thompson, Chief Executive of the ABPI, commented on some of the major announcements:

“The life sciences sector is of critical importance to our health and wealth – and today’s Budget reiterates that the Government recognises our industry can be a driving force behind long-term sustainable economic growth, c​reating new jobs, incentivising inward investment and delivering much-needed productivity gains across the UK.”

 

Parliamentary Coverage

MPs debate Medicines Regulation

21 November 2017

 

Leaving the European Union would present the UK with the opportunity to support its life sciences sector through the Industrial Strategy, MPs heard on 21 November.  Bringing a debate on medicines regulation, Labour MP Helen Goodman said she was concerned about the future of regulating medicines once the UK had left the European Union, noting that the European Parliament had decided to move the European Medicines Agency (EMA) from London to Amsterdam.

Ms Goodman stressed that: “Alignment with Europe on regulation of medicine does not simply mean having the same rules on exit day; it means having a mutual recognition agreement with the EMA, and continued alignment of future regulations as they change, which they inevitably will.”

She also expressed concern that the UK Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) could not take on the task of licensing all drugs without astronomical costs for the industry and the taxpayer.

Responding for the Government, Public Health and Primary Care Minister Steve Brine highlighted that the MHRA had been the UK’s national regulator for 30 years and had acted as the lead regulator for more than 3,500 medicines on the EU market at that time. He insisted that the strength of the UK’s medicines regulatory framework was reflected in the size of the turnover of country’s life sciences sector, which had stood at £63.5bn annually; concluding that leaving the EU, with all its challenges, allows the UK to make fresh choices about how we shape our economy and presents an opportunity to deliver a bold industrial strategy that prepares us for the years ahead.

Speaking for the Opposition, Shadow Health Minister Justin Madders noted that the uncertainty presented by Brexit would mean the UK was missing out on investment decisions currently being taken by pharmaceutical companies. He added that “the EMA’s leaving [the UK] is bad, but our leaving the EMA will be far worse.” He concluded by saying that “it is therefore difficult to overstate how critical the future of medicines regulation is to the economy and, more importantly, to the millions of patients in the UK who will need the medicines whether we leave the EU or not.”

 

Full Coverage

Budget 2017: Reaction from the UK pharmaceutical industry

ABPI, 22 November 2017

 

The Chief Executive of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) has responded to today’s Budget.

​​​​​​The ABPI welcomes the Chancellor’s commitment to the life sciences sector and looks forward to working with the government to secure a strong life sciences industry for the British economy and for British patients.

Key Budget​ announcements made by the Chancellor include:

NHS investment. Increasing NHS investment through £10bn in capital investment, plus an extra £2.8bn in resource funding for NHS England.

Research and development. £2.3bn of additional spending on R&D, taking total direct R&D spending to £12.5 billion per annum by 2021-22. An increase in R&D tax credits to 12%.

Access to finance. A £20bn Patient Capital Fund over the next ten years.

Brexit. A further £3bn to prepare for Britain’s departure from the Euro​pean Union.

Industrial Strategy. Confirmation that the imminent Industrial Strategy announcements will set out the first​ set of sector deals that have been agreed between the government and some of the UK’s leading sectors.​

Skills. A partnership with industry, led by the CBI and TUC, to develop a National Retraining Scheme. An additional £406m for maths and technical education.

Access to talent. Amendments to the Tier 1 (Exceptional talent) visa scheme. Shortening the route to apply for settlement after three years and “reduce red tape” in hiring international researchers and graduates.​

The Golden Triangle. Following the National Infrastructure Commission’s report, investing in infrastructure, housing, business investment and development across the Oxford and Cambridge corridor.​​

Mike Thompson, Chief Executive of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), commented on some of the major announcements:

“The life sciences sector is of critical importance to our health and wealth – and today’s Budget reiterates that the Government recognises our industry can be a driving force behind long-term sustainable economic growth, c​reating new jobs, incentivising inward investment and delivering much-needed productivity gains across the UK.

“The strength of our sector and the strength of the NHS are inextricably linked and we welcome the Chancellor’s additional funding for the health service. To meet the Health Secretary’s ambition for UK patients to be at the front of the queue for new treatments, the NHS must have the right resources and the capacity to apply innovation.

“As an industry that invests £11.4m per day in R&D – employing more than 23,000 people in research-intensive roles – we are greatly encouraged by the Budget’s focus on incentivising science and innovation. The Government’s commitment to increase R&D spending as a percentage of GDP and an increase to the R&D tax credit are welcome moves. R&D is a universal driver of productivity and meeting the Life Sciences Industrial Strategy’s target of bringing UK R&D spend in-line with that of our global competitors will be an important strategic goal.

“As we navigate the challenges of leaving the European Union, it is important we make the domestic landscape as attractive as possible. The Life Sciences Industrial Strategy can be a roadmap for Government to leverage the full value of our industry.

Following today’s Budget, we look forward to working with the Government to secure an Industrial Strategy sector deal that seizes the opportunity for UK life sciences to go from strength to strength. These will be investments in the UK’s future and only improve the attractiveness of the UK as a place to do business.”

HDA UK Media And Political Bulletin – 23 November 2017

From Factory to Pharmacy

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