Clinical Lab Industry News / Diagnostics Industry

The UKs major human healthcare industries have joined forces to form LifeSciencesUK

The founder members are the Association of British Healthcare Industries (ABHI), the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), the BioIndustry Association (BIA) and the British In Vitro Diagnostics Association (BIVDA). The venture will facilitate joint working between the UK’s major human healthcare industries: biotechnology; pharmaceuticals; medical devices and diagnostics.

The initiative will enable the four associations to strengthen and grow the life sciences sector. Areas of common interest are: continuous improvement of the investment environment for UK companies; improved access to new medicines, devices, diagnostics and technologies; and the importance of the life science sector to the UK economy.

“Global competition in life sciences is mounting, so we need to ensure the UK’s comparative advantage remains high,” said Richard Barker, Director General of the ABPI. “Our united force will strive to ensure patients have access to the new medicines and technologies they need.”

“We want the UK to be the number one destination for international life sciences investment,” he continued. “The life sciences sector is a jewel in the UK’s economic crown and will be vital in getting Britain back on its feet.”

LifeSciencesUK will present a strong, unified voice to the government, adopting better collaboration with industry across departments – particularly those of business and health – as well as academia, patient groups, the media and other stakeholders.

“It is important to both the life sciences industry and the UK economy that all four organisations work together to ensure that the UK is a fertile environment for life sciences companies,” said Peter Ellingworth, chief executive of the ABHI. “The work done by LifeSciencesUK will complement and support work being done across government by various teams concerned with the life sciences industry and health policy.”

The group aim to be instrumental in bringing the benefits offered by the life sciences sector not only to the national economy, but also to UK patients in the form of improved and more cost-effective healthcare.

Health Minister Lord Howe said: “Life sciences benefit our economy as well as producing innovative drugs and medical technologies to improve health outcomes for patients. This exciting initiative will allow the industries to work closely in helping the NHS provide quality of care and improve productivity with new technologies.”

Doris-Ann Williams MBE, director general of BIVDA said better communication and coordination between the sectors has already proved valuable in highlighting the life sciences’ contribution to the UK economy and its vital importance in improving healthcare in the UK.

“By aligning under the LifeSciencesUK initiative, BIVDA believes that our four associations can better work together to build on the good work we have already started in fully achieving the huge potential our industry holds for Britain,” she said.

A recent Government report “Strength and Opportunity” showed a 3% increase in employment and 18% increase in turnover to £5.5 billion in medical biotechnology. Employment in medical technology – including in vitro diagnostics – grew by 3%, while turnover grew by 4%.

The government’s R&D Scoreboard revealed that the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors continued to be the largest contributor to R&D in 2009, accounting for more than 35% of all R&D investment in the 1,000 top performing companies in the UK.

Randox are the UK’s largest diagnostics manufacturer.

Article source: Lab

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