Major Drug Companies May Leave UK if NHS Does Not Receive More Funding

Big Pharma may leave UK if NHS does not receive more funding.

The Times reports that The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) has warned that major drug companies may leave Britain if the NHS is not funded an additional £20 billion per year. The organisation cites the rationing of treatments within the NHS as a key reason for the potential departure because it signals that new drugs and treatments are unlikely to be approved for use within the UK.

Lisa Anson, president of ABPI, stated that the lack of funding would hinder the ability of companies to do clinical trials in Britain because they would not be able to test against existing best treatments in a context in which patients are not receiving them.

ABPI recommends that the UK increase its health spending as a percent of GDP from 9.9 to 11.3 in order to match the G7 average. Doing so would add £20.8 billion annually to the existing £120 billion in yearly spending.

Among the companies represented by ABPI are global giants Pfizer and Novartis, both of which have received corporate welfare from the British government in recent years.

John Appleby, Director of Research and Chief Economist at Nuffield Trust, pointed out that the amount requested by ABPI is on-par with the historical 4 percent annual growth rate in NHS spending.

Ms Anson warned that if the government does not increase funding for the NHS that the country is at risk of turning into “a desert for healthcare innovation,” which would have negative impacts throughout the £30 billion life sciences sector.

Read the story here: Drug giants threaten to quit Britain | News | The Times & The Sunday Times