ABPI warns over-regulation could hit UK competitiveness

Government/NHS related news

The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) has warned that increased regulation could mean the UK loses investment.

The warning comes as the Japanese firm Eisai is to invest ?75 million to establish its European base in the UK, but the ABPI points out capital investment by pharmaceutical companies in the UK has been declining since a peak of nearly ?1,000 million in 2001.

ABPI director general Dr Richard Barker said: "The UK is a world-player in researching and producing innovative medicines, but it is facing increasing competitive pressure, especially from emerging economies such as those of India, China and Singapore.

"No company can be expected to invest in the UK if the environment here is not sufficiently welcoming. Areas that the government needs to watch carefully include the danger of over-regulating the industry and placing further pressure on prices for products that can advance the productivity of the NHS."

He added that while it was right that the NHS should get its medicines at a fair price, this had to be balanced against the enormous benefits that the industry's presence and investment bring to patients and to the nation.

Eisai's new base in Hatfield, Hertfordshire, will include the company's European headquarters, basic research and clinical development and manufacturing along with UK sales and marketing.

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