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ABPI warns of investment loss

The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) has warned that the Government must act quickly to prevent loss of future investment by ensuring a fair pricing environment.

The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) has warned that the Government must act quickly to prevent loss of future investment by ensuring a fair pricing environment.

Government officials intend to renegotiate the Pharmaceutical Price Regulation Scheme (PPRS), but the ABPI is worried that they do not have a realistic outlook of the situation.

Director general of the ABPI, Richard Barker said: "these discussions are taking place at a time when the industry globally is under pressure and our role here in the UK is under unprecedented scrutiny from managements of global companies."

Expressing concern about government expectations for the PPRS, Barker said that officials might not factor-in slowing industry growth, which he attributes to "generic competition and a lack of new drugs."

The NHS is under pressure due to funding difficulties caused by problems such as the rising cost of caring the elderly, which could rise to as much as £1000 per week per person in the next two decades.

However, health minister Alan Johnson has already said that he is seeking substantial savings to pass on better value for money to the taxpayer.

The financial strain this will place on British based pharmaceutical companies, who collectively account for 9 percent of the world's drug research and development output, could lead to further job cuts.

AstraZeneca (AZ), having cut jobs last year, today announced the appointment of non-executive director Jean-Philippe Courtois (director of Mircrosoft International).

Courtois, who will take on an advisory role to the AZ board of directors, has an impressive track record of global business leadership, one of his standout areas (according to Microsoft) being record sales growth.

Chairman of AZ, Louis Schweitzer said [about Courtois appointment]: "His considerable experience in global sales and marketing, including emerging markets, will be of great benefit to the work of the board."

AstraZeneca could be hoping that Courtois' expertise will help steer the company through the market challenges ahead.

19th February 2008

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