UK pharmaceutical industry analysis of Labour Party manifesto

Published: 17-May-2017

Full analysis, called “Securing the Opportunity for UK Life Sciences by 2022” is available online via the ABPI Manifesto hub

The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) has published a response to the Labour Party manifesto.

“The pharmaceutical industry welcomes the Labour Party’s commitment to ensuring patients get fast access to new medicines through a NHS boosted by increased levels of funding,” said ABPI.

“However, the pharmaceutical industry is concerned that Labour’s headline pledges on taxation – such as increasing Corporation Tax – may have unintended consequences that could undermine the UK’s global competitiveness.”

Securing the NHS

The ABPI believes that UK spending on healthcare should increase to reach the G7 average by the end of the next Parliament.

Labour’s pledge to increase NHS spending by £7.4bn a year would be an important step towards this ambition, and while ABPI agree with this significant investment, they urge caution in the Party’s suggested model for funding this increase.

Access to new medicines

The association also welcomed Labour’s pledged commitment to ensuring NHS patients get fast access to new medicines.

“New medicines are crucial to providing world-class care, yet right now, for every 100 patients in comparable countries who have access to a new medicine in its first year of launch, just 18 patients in the UK receive the same.”

Patient value for money

The Manifesto also confirms that a Labour Government would seek to reach agreements with pharmaceutical companies to ensure value for money and faster access to medicines for patients.

The ABPI highlights that this should balance value for money, patient access to new medicines and rewarding innovation from companies.

Price regulation

The current Pharmaceutical Price Regulation Scheme, agreed between Government and industry, caps 80% of the NHS new medicines bill so that it does not grow by more than an average of 1.1% until the end of 2018.

Any expenditure above the cap is refunded by PPRS member companies, who between them have paid back £1.7bn since 2014.

Global investment and jobs

The ABPI is concerned that Labour’s proposals to increase Corporation Tax, while also levying higher taxes on highly skilled workers and their businesses, would have unintended consequences for the UK’s global competitiveness at a time when the UK needs to encourage global companies to invest.

However, the party’s commitment to increasing R&D investment to 3% of GDP was praised.

A new relationship with the EU

The ABPI approves of the Labour Party’s intent to negotiate an ongoing cooperative relationship between the UK and the European Medicines Agency.

They also welcome the ambition for UK scientists to continue to collaborate on cross EU scientific research projects, as well as seeking continued participation in Horizon 2020.

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