TTstudio /
21 July 2015Big Pharma

UK government launches life sciences parliamentary group

A new parliamentary group has been created to raise awareness of and help to develop the life sciences industry in the UK.

The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Life Sciences officially launched at the UK Parliament yesterday, July 20.

APPGs are informal cross-party groups that have no official status within Parliament.

They are run by and for members of both the lower part of the UK Parliament, the House of Commons, and the upper part, the House of Lords.

Some of the groups also involve individuals and organisations from outside Parliament.

Life Sciences UK (LSUK), which is made up of four trade associations for the life sciences sector in the UK, will “provide secretariat for the group”.

LSUK consists of the Association of British Healthcare Industries, the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), the BioIndustry Association (BIA), and the British In Vitro Diagnostics Association.

Alison Clough, acting chief executive of the ABPI, said: “The UK life sciences sector plays a key role in driving investment in science and health research and in developing life-changing medicines and technologies.

“The establishment of the APPG provides industry with an essential forum to work with parliamentarians to look at ways to improve the current ‘bench to bedside’ medicine pathway and to ensure that patients are getting access to the latest innovative treatments.”

Steve Bates, the BIA’s chief executive, added: “An optimal policy and fiscal environment is crucial to sustain and grow the life sciences sector to deliver health and wealth for the UK.

“This APPG will provide an effective forum for parliamentarians to engage with this exciting sector.”

Liz Cohen, partner at law firm Bristows, told LSIPR that the initiative recognises that the UK’s life sciences industry “continues to be a thriving and important part of the UK economy".

“This is reflected in the fact that the patents court in London continues to be dominated by life sciences cases, with the first biosimilar patent case coming to trial and appeal recently, and no doubt more in the wings to come,” she added.

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