Pharmacy News

Gov’t sets out ten-year strategy for the UK’s life sciences sector

The government has revealed its ten-year Life Sciences Vision, which aims to build on the successes of COVID-19 to accelerate innovations for patients.

The new strategy, co-developed alongside businesses and industry experts, outlines seven ‘critical’ healthcare missions. Each mission has a specific focus on the prevention, diagnosis, monitoring and treatment of disease early.

This, according to the strategy, will be achieved through the use of ‘innovative’ clinical trials to develop products and treatments that can rapidly help patients.

As such, the seven missions identified include: accelerating studies for novel dementia treatments; enabling early diagnosis and treatments; sustaining the UK’s position in vaccine discovery, development and manufacturing; treatment and prevention of cardiovascular disease; reduced mortality and morbidity from respiratory diseases; addressing the underlying biology of ageing; and increasing understanding of mental health conditions.

Specifically, the vision is aiming to reproduce the successes of the UK Vaccines Taskforce, by utilising private sector expertise and removing unnecessary bureaucracy to help tackle healthcare challenges.

“Through this pandemic, we have turned to the brilliance of our UK life sciences sector which time after time has stepped up and done the country proud – from developing life-saving vaccines to identifying variants through world class genome sequencing,” said Life Sciences Minister Nadhim Zahawi.

“We want to bottle up this scientific brilliance, and the Life Sciences Vision provides a roadmap for how we apply this innovation at the heart of our NHS helping to solve major health challenges such as dementia and obesity – all while ensuring the UK remains a global leader in life sciences,” he added.

Commenting on the new ten-year strategy, Richard Torbett, chief executive of the ABPI, said: “We’ve seen just how important the partnership between industry, the government and the NHS has been to the response to the pandemic, and we need to take the same approach if we are going to make the UK a global hub for life sciences.”

“By putting the NHS at the centre of the vision, we can also deliver for patients and make the UK the best place in the world to research, develop, manufacture, and use the latest medicines and vaccines,” he added.

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