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ABPI delivers wish-list to Hammond ahead of spring budget

Pharma industry has three key requests

As the UK Chancellor prepared his spring budget speech, the country's pharma industry has made three key requests of the Treasury.

In a blog post, the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) chief executive Mike Thompson called on Chancellor Philip Hammond - who will unveil the new budget later today - for "details on how the Government will support the industry to thrive and grow in the UK".

Top of the list is clarity on how the government plans to fulfil its pledge to make the UK the best place in the world to research, develop and launch new medicines. Thompson points out that the NHS and its rich sources of patient data could be a "unique selling point" that could attract pharma investment.

"The Chancellor can help unlock this potential by piloting improved integration of patient, drug and disease records, in targeted locations," he says, as this would "help demonstrate the NHS's data capabilities".

Thompson would also like to see more details on infrastructure investments that will help drug developers, particularly with regard to the £2bn annual increase in R&D spending promised in the Chancellor's Autumn statement that according to the government aims to "help put post-Brexit Britain at the cutting edge of science and tech".

The ABPI would like more information from Hammond on how this investment will be spent by the newly-created Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, which was announced by Prime Minister Theresa May at the 2016 Confederation of British Industry (CBI) conference last November.

At the time, May said that the Fund would direct some of the national R&D investment towards helping to address Britain's "historic weakness on commercialisation and turning our world-leading research into long-term success". Pharma has already been highlighted as a priority industry for the government, so there is all to play for in pushing for a share of the pot.

"There is a particular opportunity for this money to be used to support advanced medicines manufacturing in the UK," according to Thompson.

The third request centres on the continued support of R&D intensive industries such as pharma through the use of tax credits. Hammond is due to deliver the results of a review of that system in the spring budget, and the ABPI is anxious that the system is retained and reformed.

"R&D tax credits are crucial to attract investment from the pharmaceutical industry," said Thompson.  "Reforms can make a real difference, in particular in making sure the system works for attracting investment in advanced manufacturing projects."

Article by
Phil Taylor

8th March 2017

From: Regulatory

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