The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) has added its weight to calls from leading experts and policy makers in British science that leaving the European Union would put UK science "at risk".
In a letter published today in The Telegraph, a group of 13 Nobel prize-winning scientists, which includes geneticist Sir Paul Nurse, say that "EU decisions about scientific policy, funding and regulatory frameworks affect science the world over, and are influenced by British scientists. On the inside, Britain has access to people and funding and wields global scientific influence, far greater than we have alone."
In addition the House of Commons Science & Technology Committee have also published a new report today that calls on Government to put in place contingency plans to protect UK science in event of a leave vote.
As a leading voice in UK life sciences, which generates an estimates annual turnover of £56 billion and employs 183,000 people, the ABPI have added their weight to today's claims.
This follows the Association stating that the 'UK pharmaceutical industry supports the UK remaining in Europe' on 9 May 2016.
Dr Rebecca Lumsden, Head of Science Policy at the ABPI says:
“By voting to remain in a reformed and more competitive European Union, the UK public, the NHS and the UK economy are in the best possible position to benefit from our status as a world leader in life sciences.
Today’s letter from 13 Nobel prize-winning scientists and the report from the Commons’ Science & Technology highlights the necessity for stability and predictability to guarantee sustained investment in our industry. It also paints a gloomy picture that a vote to leave will only hold back the development and delivery of life-changing medicines and technologies.
EU membership enables the UK to reap the rewards from access to a highly skilled academic, manufacturing and technical workforce; an established and harmonised regulatory approval system; an economic market many times bigger than our own; and a combination of public and private financial initiatives that incentivise collaboration and aid the discovery and development of the next generation of treatments.
From a strong position inside Europe, we have reinforced our position as nation of pioneers that push the boundaries of scientific progress. For the health and wealth of the UK, we must do all we can to make sure we do not hold that progress back.”
ABPI Press Office
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The ABPI represents innovative research-based biopharmaceutical companies, large, medium and small, leading an exciting new era of biosciences in the UK.
Our industry, a major contributor to the economy of the UK, brings life-saving and life-enhancing medicines to patients. We represent companies supplying around 90 per cent of all medicines used by the NHS, and are researching and developing the majority of the current medicines pipeline, ensuring that the UK remains at the forefront of helping patients prevent and overcome diseases.
The ABPI is recognised by government as the industry body negotiating on behalf of the branded pharmaceutical industry, for statutory consultation requirements including the pricing scheme for medicines in the UK.