Representatives of the pharmaceutical industry have collectively suggested that many firms could withdraw from Britain and delay major drug launches unless the NHS receives a funding boost.
The manifesto of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) suggests that health spending should be boosted to 11% of GDP from 9.9%.
This would amount to approximately £20 billion annually.
Lisa Anson, the new president of the ABPI and country president of AstraZeneca, suggested that even the future of the life sciences sector could be in jeopardy.
This aspect of health is also worth £30 billion every year.
Anson argued that “this General Election comes at a critical juncture. Do we want to improve NHS patient outcomes and ensure Britain continues to be a global player in Life Sciences, or run the risk of the UK becoming a desert for healthcare innovation?”
However, some might suggest that the pharmaceutical industry is engaging in opportunism in order to increase profitability.
With the spectre of Brexit hanging over Britain, many are concerned about the uncertainty of the post-Brexit political and economic climate.
“Patients and voters will expect each party to set out a clear strategy to address this important issue. The new Government should commit to bringing healthcare investment in line with the G7 average in order to deliver the services and outcomes that British patients deserve. Ensuring that the NHS and Life Sciences industry are at the heart of the new industrial strategy, and Brexit negotiations, is also crucial for securing this ambition,” Anson asserted.
But in response to the assertions of the ABPI, a senior Cabinet Minister indicated that spending decisions must reflect the national interest rather than a singular industry.
The Brexit Secretary, David Davies, dismissed the demands of the ABPI, suggesting that the government had already made serious commitments to healthcare policy.
“We’ve had pharmaceutical industries relocate here, we’ve had people like GlaxoSmithKline increase their expenditure here. As for the aspect of that attempt by the ABPI, it seemed to be a pressure on the spending of the National Health Service, which is something I think is more for the Health Secretary. But I think he will make sensible decisions in the national interest, not in an individual industry’s interest,” Davies commented.
In response to the position of the government, the Labour Party has expressed concern with the way that the Conservatives are handling both Brexit and the NHS.
But a Conservative spokesman told Sky News that the government has no intention of neglecting the healthcare system.
“We can only continue to invest in our NHS, and maintain our world-leading position in life sciences, with strong and stable economic leadership – and crucially, both depend on negotiating the good Brexit deal only Theresa May can achieve. Our forthcoming industrial strategy will set out how the life sciences sector can improve even further in partnership with the NHS.”