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U.K. Government Slow to Stop Pharma R&D Slump

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Published on : Mar 04, 2015

When it comes to turnaround strategies, the focal point of the U.K. government is currently the life sciences industry. Recent data however shows that healthcare companies are spending less and less on research and development processes on drugs in the country.

The Office of National Statistics released the data earlier this week. It shows the United Kingdom’s drug production output has lowered by nearly a quarter within the time the current government held office. The industry became a net importer of drugs for the first time.

The slide downwards for the U.K. pharma industry’s manufacturing unit has been matched by the trend in R&D investments. The annual pharma research and development investment crested at £4.9 billion in 2011. Since then, its shares have fallen 17 per cent. The local industry has spent £4.1 billion on research and development activities in 2013, which was the lowest amount since 2007.

Experts believe that the slump was not caused by lack of attention paid by the U.K. government. A member in the department of business, Jo Swinson, said earlier this week that there are more civil servants working in the development strategies on life sciences than any other industry except for construction. 

He said that the estimates of the workload of civil servants show 6.1 equivalents of full-time workers that are currently operating on life sciences. Most of the workers occupy largely senior positions inside the organization.

He added that life sciences is currently the only sector to which the equivalent of one grade 6 full time servant is dedicated. Grade 6 is one level below deputy director.