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Economic Situation: Pharmaceuticals

Volume 488: debated on Tuesday 24 February 2009

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform if he will make an assessment of the effect of the recession on the financial ability of pharmaceutical companies to undertake pre-market research and development work. (256606)

I have been asked to reply.

There are no plans to undertake an assessment. The Government recognise that in the current economic climate the bio-pharmaceutical industry is facing challenges. The Prime Minister held a summit with global leaders from the industry on 27 January 2009 to discuss the main issues facing the industry in the United Kingdom. He reinforced the message that the Government are committed to working with the industry to ensure that the UK maintains its position as a world leader in this sector, and to this end, he announced the creation of an Office for Life Sciences, to be led by Lord Drayson, the Science and Innovation Minister. The Office will be tasked with undertaking work in the short-term to address some of the issues facing the industry, and to develop a longer-term life sciences industrial strategy.