Thursday, 15 Dec 2011
Investing in UK Health and Life Sciences
We can be proud of our past, but this government is acutely aware that we cannot be complacent about the future. Your industry is undergoing profound change. The financial crisis is affecting healthcare budgets in the West, many blockbuster drugs are nearing the end of their patents, and new biological insights have dramatically altered the landscape of discovery and development.
As a result of increasing R&D costs, the old ‘big pharma’ model is becoming more difficult to maintain. In its place is a new focus on translational medicine – more early stage clinical trails with patients, more external innovation, more collaboration.
We understand that the game has changed – and that the UK must change with it. This country has all the ingredients to be an outstanding location for medical innovation: an integrated National Health Service, unlike any other; a highly competitive tax and investment framework; and an unrivalled science base, with four of the world’s top ten universities here in Britain.
We have the strengths, but we recognise that too often we have failed to capitalise on them. This is an ambitious strategy to change that and to finally join up life sciences in the UK: to open up universities and business to more collaboration; to invest in the best British ideas at an early stage; to tear down the regulatory barriers you face; and crucially, to open up the NHS to new innovations and new clinical trials.
This strategy is ambitious because it has got to be. We are determined not just to remain a player in the global market, but to remain a leading player. In this endeavour I want to work closely with industry. My door is always open for suggestions on what we can do to make the UK a more attractive place to invest, research and employ – so that we make this great British success story even more successful in the years to come.