Pharma industry urges healthcare investment

The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) has called on the next government to invest more in healthcare and deliver a ‘world class’ NHS for patients.

AstraZeneca PLC

Launching its 2017 election manifesto, the trade association urged the incoming government to bring healthcare investment into line with the G7 average of 11.3 per cent of GDP. The UK currently has the sixth lowest proportional spend of the G7 nations at just 9.9 per cent, with only Italy investing less.

The ABPI, which represents over 120 pharmaceutical companies in the UK, also wants the next government to improve patient access to medicines and vaccines, pushing the UK into the top 25 per cent of OECD countries by 2022. According to the organisation, patients in France and Germany are around five times more likely to receive a new medicine in the year it is released than patients in the UK.

“This general election comes at a critical juncture,” said Lisa Anson, UK president of pharma giant AstraZeneca and the new president of the ABPI. “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?”

“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.”

Measures set out in the manifesto include a new long-term, voluntary Pharmaceutical Price Regulation Scheme (PPRS); achieving three per cent of GDP spend on research and development by 2022; improving the global competitiveness of UK through targeted infrastructure investment in advanced manufacturing; and securing a post-Brexit relationship with the EU that prioritises patient care.

“As we leave the EU, the new government’s agenda will need to set out the UK’s stall in the global marketplace,” said Mike Thomspon, ABPI chief executive.

“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.”