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Establishing The UK As A Life Sciences Powerhouse

Nicola Blackwood speaks at the ABPI Annual Conference & Dinner 2019: Enhancing a Life Sciences Powerhouse in a Post-Brexit World.

At the ABPI Annual Conference & Dinner 2019, the Health Minister, Nicola Blackwood, gave a speech about how the UK can deliver one of the best health innovation systems in the world. Firstly, Nicola began her speech by establishing the reasons why the UK is seen as a health leader across the globe as well as a powerhouse for life sciences.

For example, the UK is in the top five countries that exports pharmaceutical products. Furthermore, 25% of the most-used medicines in the world were developed in the UK, and the UK receives the most foreign investment for life sciences projects across the whole of Europe.

Nicola gives thanks to the achievement for all of the people and collaborations that make it possible which include the NHS and its patients, UK charities as well as government and industry. Thanks to the Industrial Strategy, several successful projects are running which are improving the life sciences ecosystem which include the Test Beds programme. The Test Beds programme brings together industry partners and the NHS in a bid to test combinations of digital technologies in real-world settings.

However, in order for the UK to continue to be at the forefront of life sciences, there are challenges ahead that need addressing. Some of the roadblocks that may hinder the UK’s progress include the need for a regulatory system that can evolve alongside AI and digital health technologies.

Other hurdles include ensuring staff are up to speed with new technologies through training as well as making sure data is more accessible but still retains the trust of patients and clinicians.

One of the main issues that Nicola addresses in her speech is the fact that the UK can be slow to adopt new innovations. Nicola calls on further collaborations between government and industry through more Sector Deals which can help to develop innovations such as genomics.

Nicola says; “For diagnostics, the Sector Deal announced £79 million to establish the world’s first cohort of up to 5 million healthy participants to support research, prevention and treatment across major chronic diseases, including cancer, dementia, heart disease and mental health disorders.”

As well as collaboration another aspect that needs addressing is the regulatory framework of the UK. For progress to continue, regulations need to be easy to navigate. This means developing a clear regulatory pathway for several life sciences areas such as genomic medicines and testing advanced therapies.

As a result of improving regulatory framework and collaboration across the UK, it is hoped that the UK can continue to have a strong, competitive and world-leading innovation ecosystem. An ecosystem where clinicians can access tailored innovations and patients can benefit from the innovations that improve prevention, diagnosis and treatment times. As well as this, the NHS can shift their attention from resources to clinical priorities.

Article source: https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/creating-one-of-the-most-exciting-health-innovation-systems-in-the-world

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