The UK pharmaceutical industry is a major part of the life sciences sector. It employs over 72,000 people, invests considerably in research and development, and contributes £7bn a year to the economy. It also has access to a strong academic base that offers extensive expertise in translational medicine and database studies, while the NHS offers data and research opportunities unmatched anywhere else in the world thanks to its national database of patient records.
With so many benefits and opportunities, it would appear that little can hinder the UK’s position as a world leader in this field. However, globally the life sciences industry is changing. The financial crisis has hindered funding opportunities – just as it has in other sectors, and investments and workforces are being consolidated. At the same time, the market place is becoming increasingly competitive.
What impact is this likely to have on the UK pharmaceutical and life sciences sectors? What is needed to ensure a position of leadership and that they remain attractive to investors, companies and academia? To address all these questions and more, New Statesman, in partnership with Pfizer, has brought some of the leading voices together.