Pharma gets Together to Attract Investment

Steven Bradshaw is a global healthcare policy expert, who works as a consultant to some of the world’s top pharmaceuticals companies and think tanks. In this blog post Steven looks at news about the pharma industry banding together in a bid to make investment in pharmaceuticals a more attractive proposition.

The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry has set-up a new Inward Investor Group which includes representatives from 11 pharmaceutical companies who are investing in the UK. These companies include Amgen, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Eisai, Eli Lilly, Ipsen, Janssen, MSD, Novartis, Pfizer, Sanofi and UCB.

The UK looks for inward investment

The main aims of the group are to demonstrate the benefits of investing in the UK, while maintaining Government awareness of the policies needed to make sure that UK remains attractive to industry investors.

The group is headed by Steve Arnold, UCB’s Managing Director for the British and Irish Isles. He said: ”The government has made great progress in their support for the life sciences over the last five years and we will continue to work constructively to ensure that the UK remains a natural destination when global chief executives make difficult investment decisions.”

STeve Arnold Steven Bradshaw

UCB’s Managing Director Steve Arnold

The group will present its findings to Government within the next three to four months. Key areas of focus will be skills, corporate tax, R&D and the commercial environment. A policy wish list will be presented to Government in time to catch the electoral cycle.

Drop in research and development spend

The last six years have seen nine major sites close within the UK industry, this is coupled with a shocking 15% decline in R&D spend in 2013, the first time such a decline has been recorded.  Industry chiefs and politicians have both worried over the sudden decline, fearing that the UK may ‘lose its competitive edge’.

The concept of an industry group focused on inward investment has been around for a while and it also fits in with the UK’s Life Sciences Strategy. Group members are keen to insist that they are in no way antagonistic towards the Government.

Steven Bradshaw Comments

Steven Bradshaw believes inward investment in R&D needs to be top of the group’s agenda. The sudden decline in the R&D sector coupled with the closures of major pharma manufacturing sites in the UK is a real worry to the wider industry and the UKs standing in the global pharma community.

The formation of the group and the wider awareness of potential problems and willingness to meet the issues head on should be welcomed. Government officials and policy makers would do well to pay attention to what the group’s findings are and what their wish list entails.