Mind the gap

A new ABPI report warns of challenges ahead as the gap between the commercial industry and medicine development widens.

 In a new report published to coincide with the Annual Conference 2014, the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) has warned of a widening gap between the UK’s commercial market and medicines development.

The discussion paper, Securing a Future of Innovative Medicines, suggested that a fundamental shift is necessary to ensure the national commercial environment responds to the progression of drug development, which is shifting towards more specialised medicines.

Stephen Whitehead, chief executive of the ABPI, said: “Whilst companies are refocusing their pipelines towards specialised and stratified medicines, a gap is opening up between the commercial environment the industry currently operates in, and the new research and development (R&D) environment the industry is moving towards.”

“If we don’t address this gap soon, patients will be unable to access the best treatments and the UK economy will suffer.”    

Other challenges for the industry identified in the report include rising drug development costs and problems with recruiting sufficient patients to conduct studies.

The ABPI suggested that the industry needed to work closely with the NHS and academia “to ensure we become a global leader in stratified medicine, as well as the location of choice for pharmaceutical R&D from across the globe.”