UK pharma alive and well, says ABPI

 The ABPI has played down any worries over the state of the UK pharmaceutical industry after AstraZeneca’s restructuring plans put jobs at risk at two plants in Cheshire.

Approximately 7,300 jobs will be axed by AZ in the next three years with the GMB Union predicting that 250-300 jobs will go from the company’s R&D site at Alderley Park, Cheshire.

However, the ABPI says the UK remains a “global leader in science and healthcare and huge levels of R&D investment continue to take place”, and insisted the job cuts were not a reflection of the UK market.

In a statement, the Association says that AZ has a “long history” of investment as a big employer and contributor to the economy and it expects this to continue.

It realises that the “industry has modernised in recent years” to a more integrated partnership model with companies of all sizes working together – along with an increase in joint working between pharma and the NHS.

The Government has supported the UK industry, the statement said, and continues to “encourage investment and growth in the life sciences sector”. But the ABPI has called on the Government to continue this approach and focus on promises previously made.

The Association says it needs to continue to “do all it can” to incentivise investment. Recent initiatives such as the patent box have been positive, the statement said, but the Government “must follow through on the promises made in the Autumn Package”.

“The Government will need to reward innovation by designing a pricing scheme that values innovation and encourages R&D to take place in the UK,” said the statement.