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UK pharma calls on next government to be more ambitious

ABPI wants medicines access to reach levels of other developed nations

ABPI

The next UK government should set its sights on a world-class NHS, raising healthcare investment and improving access to medicines, according to the country’s pharmaceutical industry.

The ABPI today launched its own manifesto for the snap General Election, calling for clear strategies to make NHS patient outcomes the best in the world.

Incoming ABPI president Lisa Anson said: “This General Election comes at a critical juncture. Do we want to improve NHS patient outcomes and ensure Britain continues to be a global player in life sciences, or run the risk of the UK becoming a desert for healthcare innovation? Patients and voters will expect each party to set out a clear strategy to address this important issue.”

Anson, who is also country president at AstraZeneca UK, added: “The new Government should commit to bringing healthcare investment in line with the G7 average in order to deliver the services and outcomes that British patients deserve. Ensuring that the NHS and Life Sciences industry are at the heart of the new industrial strategy, and Brexit negotiations, is also crucial for securing this ambition.”

The trade association says the UK’s investment in healthcare at 9.9% of GDP is currently the sixth-lowest of the G7 nations, with only Italy investing less.

And when it comes to medicines access, the ABPI says in the first year of launch, patients in France and Germany are around five times more likely to receive a new medicine than those in the UK.

The current government led by Theresa May outlined its industrial strategy in January, plans to handed a key role to the life sciences sector.

However, the ABPI says the next government should “implement a new industrial strategy that cements the UK’s position as a leading global hub for life science, and attract significant new international investment”.

Brexit is also firmly on the Association’s mind and it wants a new relationship with the European Union (EU) that prioritises patients and public health to be secured.

The ABPI is asking the next Government to negotiate a new relationship with the EU through a phased transition that secures patient access to medicines and protects public health.

The ABPI’s chief executive Mike Thomspon said: "As we leave the EU, the new Government's agenda will need to set out the UK's stall in the global marketplace.

"This manifesto lays out the pharmaceutical industry’s vision for an NHS that embraces innovation as the route to greater productivity and sustainability, as well as healthier lives for us all. Alongside targeted investments in our science base and making the right choices in Brexit negotiations, we can cement the UK's position as a leading global hub for our industry."

Article by
Dominic Tyer

26th April 2017

From: Regulatory

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