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ABPI backs Brown's pledge

UK industry association welcomes Gordon Brown's commitment to innovation and plans for cancer care

The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) has applauded Gordon Brown's pledge to commit to innovation and cancer care.

In his speech at the Labour Party Conference, Brown said he wanted to ensure that Britain remains a base for pioneering research and innovation in development and manufacturing.

"The best way finance can serve our country now is to help ensure that the inventions and innovations pioneered in Britain are developed and manufactured in Britain. So we will create a new national investment corporation to provide finance for growing manufacturing and other businesses; our £1bn innovation fund will then back the creativity and inventions that are essential to the economy," he said.

Commenting on the Prime Minister's speech, Dr Richard Barker, director-general of the ABPI said: "I welcome government's intent to create a positive environment which will encourage innovative companies like those within the pharmaceutical industry to continue to use Britain as a base for their pioneering research – and to go on to develop and manufacture their innovations in Britain. We also welcome his commitment to early detection and treatment for cancer patients."

During his speech, Brown promised that in an attempt to transform cancer care in the UK there would be increased investment in diagnostic tests for patients presenting with symptoms of the disease, with an emphasis on completing and returning results in seven days.

"We will finance a new right for cancer patients to have diagnostic tests carried out, completed and with results – often same day results – within one week of seeing your GP. That is our early diagnosis guarantee, building on our current guarantee of only two weeks wait to see a specialist," he said.

"And so with three major steps forward – early diagnosis, early treatment and our historic investment in research for cancer cures, we in Britain can transform cancer care; and our ambition is no less than to beat cancer in this generation," he added.

Under the proposal patients who do not receive their test results within a week will be entitled to be seen at another NHS facility or private hospital. In order to realise the plan, Brown said that around £1bn would be spent on new scanners and other diagnostic equipment.

1st October 2009

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