Researchers back plan to encourage UK drug development

Government plans to encourage drug companies to undertake research and development in the UK have been welcomed by researchers.

Research: plans to boost UK drug development backed (photo: Novo Nordisk)
Research: plans to boost UK drug development backed (photo: Novo Nordisk)

A consultation launched this week sets out proposed changes to clarify when researchers performing clinical trials may be at risk of infringing a patent. The government announced it would examine the issue as part of its ‘Plan for Growth’ strategy launched in March 2011.

In July this year, the BioIndustry Association (BIA), which represents small research companies, urged the government to ensure there was a level playing field so that developers of innovative products are given the same certainty as other companies.

BIA chief executive Steve Bates welcomed the government's ‘commitment to ensuring everything is done to make the UK an attractive location to conduct research and clinical trials’.

‘Biopharmaceutical companies invest more in R&D in the UK than any other sector and we have all the tools to continue to develop new medicines for patients,’ he said. ‘We look forward to engaging with government on this issue to ensure any barriers to continued such investment is removed.’

The consultation is open until 19 December 2012.

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