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New health ministers and re-appointments after reshuffle

Industry sees both continuity and change after the UK’s General Election

Jeremy HuntJeremy Hunt and George Freeman have kept their health and life science roles but there are new faces for pharma after the UK government reshuffles the Department of Health after May's General Election.

The full list of ministers now working within the Department of Health are: Jeremy Hunt MP, Secretary of State for Health (pictured); Alistair Burt MP, Minister of State for Community and Social Care; Ben Gummer MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Care Quality; Jane Ellison MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Public Health; George Freeman MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Life Sciences; and David Prior, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for NHS Productivity (Lords).

Hunt keeps his health secretary role that he has held since 2012 while Freeman, who will likely have the most contact with the industry during this new Parliament, also keeps his life sciences role - a re-appointment that has been welcomed by the UK pharma group the ABPI.

Freeman's role is also tied into the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and includes expanded responsibility for the Cancer Drugs Fund, NICE and MHRA, research and development, issues around the uptake of new drugs and med tech, and the government's life sciences industrial strategy.

Ellison, who reprises her role as the secretary for public health that she has held since 2013, also has a wide remit that includes pharma as will have responsibility for: antimicrobial resistance, cancer, dementia, diabetes as well as issues around vaccination and the prevention of long-term conditions.

Two noticeable absences are Lord Freddy Howe, who has moved out of the DH and over to the Ministry of Defence and David Willetts, formerly the universities and science minister, who has stood down as an MP.

Both were vocal champions of the life science industry in the UK and had direct contact with the industry over the past five years.

Joseph Johnson, brother of the Mayor of London Boris Johnson, has been appointed as the new universities and science minister, while Freeman will take on some of Lord Howe's former responsibilities.

Article by
Ben Adams

22nd May 2015

From: Healthcare

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