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Drugs: Industry

Volume 488: debated on Tuesday 3 March 2009

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what assessment he has made of the effect of the recession on the pharmaceutical industry; and if he will make a statement. (260019)

This Department is monitoring closely the impact of the recession on all business sectors. The immediate effects of the downturn on large pharmaceutical companies has not been as pronounced as those in many other manufacturing sectors. However ongoing restructuring and cost-cutting programmes which have been established over the last few years by large multinational pharmaceutical companies are leading to an overall loss of pharmaceutical jobs in the UK and globally.

On 27 January 2009, my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister chaired a meeting of Government and biopharmaceutical business leaders. The overarching aim of the meeting was to identify a long-term framework to help the UK maintain its world class bio-pharmaceutical industry. Government and industry agreed to work together to develop a strategy for the biosciences industry. Action to drive this work forward is being taken forward through the Office for Life Sciences.