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Budget 2017: Reaction from the UK’s pharmaceutical industry

Posted: 22 November 2017 | | No comments yet

The Chief Executive of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), Mike Thompson has responded to today’s Budget announcement…

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The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) welcomes the Chancellor’s commitment to the life sciences sector and looks forward to working with the government to secure a strong life sciences industry for the British economy and for British patients.

Mike Thompson, ABPI, Chief Executive has said:

“The life sciences sector is of critical importance to our health and wealth – and today’s Budget reiterates that the Government recognises our industry can be a driving force behind long-term sustainable economic growth. Creating new jobs, incentivising inward investment and delivering much-needed productivity gains across the UK.

“The strength of our sector and the strength of the NHS are inextricably linked and we welcome the Chancellor’s additional funding for the health service. To meet the Health Secretary’s ambition for UK patients to be at the front of the queue for new treatments, the NHS must have the right resources and the capacity to apply innovation.

“As an industry that invests £11.4m per day in R&D – employing more than 23,000 people in research-intensive roles – we are greatly encouraged by the Budget’s focus on incentivising science and innovation. The Government’s commitment to increase R&D spending as a percentage of GDP and an increase to the R&D tax credit are welcome moves. R&D is a universal driver of productivity and meeting the Life Sciences Industrial Strategy’s target of bringing UK R&D spend in-line with that of our global competitors will be an important strategic goal.

“As we navigate the challenges of leaving the European Union, it is important we make the domestic landscape as attractive as possible. The Life Sciences Industrial Strategy can be a roadmap for Government to leverage the full value of our industry.

“Following today’s Budget, we look forward to working with the Government to secure an Industrial Strategy sector deal that seizes the opportunity for UK life sciences to go from strength to strength. These will be investments in the UK’s future and only improve the attractiveness of the UK as place to do business.”

Some of the key announcements made by the Chancellor that impact the pharmaceutical industry, include:

  • Research and development. £2.3bn of additional spending on R&D, taking total direct R&D spending to £12.5 billion per annum by 2021-22. An increase in R&D tax credits to 12%.
  • NHS investment. Increasing NHS investment through £10bn in capital investment, plus an extra £2.8bn in resource funding for NHS England.  
  • Access to finance. A £20bn Patient Capital Fund over the next ten years. 
  • Brexit. A further £3bn to prepare for Britain’s departure from the European Union. 
  • Industrial Strategy. Confirmation that the imminent Industrial Strategy announcements will set out the first set of sector deals that have been agreed between the government and some of the UK’s leading sectors.  
  • Skills. A partnership with industry, led by the CBI and TUC, to develop a National Retaining Scheme. An additional £406m for maths and technical education. 
  • Access to talent. Amendments to the Tier 1 (Exceptional talent) visa scheme. Shortening the route to apply for settlement after three years and “reduce red tape” in hiring international researchers and graduates. 
  • The Golden Triangle. Following the National Infrastructure Commission’s report, investing in infrastructure, housing, business investment and development across the Oxford and Cambridge corridor.

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