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US pharma bosses say UK's life sciences position under threat

By Sean Farrell

Date: Tuesday 19 Jun 2018

US pharma bosses say UK's life sciences position under threat

(Sharecast News) - US pharma businesses have warned the government that the UK's dominant position in life sciences is threatened by Brexit and the NHS's slow adoption of new medicines.

Some influential US companies will call on business secretary Greg Clark to speed up his industrial strategy, launched in 2017, which pledged quicker uptake of medicines by the NHS.

In an article in the Financial Times, the UK head of Pfizer, Erik Nordkamp, said: "The UK pharmaceutical industry and the patients who rely on it are under serious threat from Brexit as well as from the flawed way medicines are developed, tested and made available to patients in the country."

Nordkamp chairs the American Pharmaceutical Group (APG) of the biggest 10 pharma companies operating in the UK. An APG survey found three-quarters of its members said Britain's leadership in life sciences was threatened by failure to get treatments to patients more quickly. Uncertainty over Brexit is affecting global decisions on investments in life sciences and healthcare, according to 86% of those surveyed.

The pharma industry has been frustrated for a long time with the NHS's slow takeup of new medicines and its hard bargaining over prices, the FT said. The industrial strategy sought to place the UK in the top quartile for speedy uptake of innovative, cost-effective products.

Theresa May needs to go beyond seeking harmonisation with regulations in Europe to win the confidence of the global pharmaceutical industry, Nordkamp said.

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