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expert reaction to the Industrial Strategy: Life Sciences Sector Deal

The government has announced a sector deal with the life sciences sector.


Prof. David Webb, President of the British Pharmacological Society, said:

“The series of investments announced today in the Life Sciences Sector Deal as part of the broader Industrial Strategy demonstrate the value of this vibrant sector to the UK, and it is good to see the commitment to build on UK strengths in clinical research and clinical trials. The next year will be a real opportunity to capitalise on the UK’s excellence in research and development, and the unique potential of the NHS. We welcome this direction of travel and believe that implementation in partnership across the full sector will be the key to its success.

Crucially, we need to ensure the UK has the skills it needs to deliver against this sector deal. In particular, we are facing a shortage of clinical pharmacology skills, as recognised by Sir John Bell in his report to Government. The British Pharmacological Society is well-placed to support these critical skills and we are working to align our existing activities closely with the broader skills strategy. We hope that charities, academia, industry and the NHS – working together – can implement a joined-up strategy that will deliver for patients and the UK economy alike.”


Prof Sir Robert Lechler PMedSci, President of the Academy of Medical Sciences, said:

“Sir John’s Life Sciences Industrial Strategy highlighted the important contribution that the sector plays in boosting our economy and in driving innovation around the country.

“‘I am very pleased to see that the sector deal provides necessary detail about exactly how life sciences will be supported in the UK, to help us continue our world leading research and development. The implementation of the strategy will depend on strong leadership and it is essential that it takes into account all perspectives across the life sciences sector, including the academic community.

“Recent announcements by pharmaceutical and biotech companies, building their commitments in the UK, are very welcome developments. Now we need to do the hard work of ensuring that the UK continues to attract and retain the best talent, as well as forge international collaborations, to retain our global lead.

“I am happy to see the recognition that the long-term success of the deal will depend on the engagement of the NHS as a research partner and that research should be considered “core business for the NHS”. This will ensure the outputs of research and development are translated into patient benefit as rapidly as possible.

“The Academy is working with others in the sector to feed into the current discussions of the international guidance for clinical research (ICH GCP).”

“I now look forward to further details in future phases of the deal about support for the growing strength of our regional life sciences clusters, helping them to form a nation-wide network of innovators, which can drive growth across the country.”




Declared interests

None received.


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