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BGMA Statement on Sir John Bell's Life Sciences Industrial Strategy

Reaction from the British Generic Manufacturers Association (BGMA) to Sir John Bell today outlining his findings into how the life sciences sector can work with the Government to provide an even greater economic and societal contribution:

Warwick Smith, Director General of the British Generic Manufacturers Association (BGMA), said:

“We welcome Sir John’s report and wholeheartedly support the ambition for how the life sciences sector and Government can work together to foster an environment that encourages even more innovation, development and competition in the UK. BGMA would like to work with the Government as a vital part of the UK life sciences ecosystem to look at how we achieve this vision through a sector deal”.

“Indeed, this proposed investment by Government and the NHS is enabled by the headroom created by cost-effective prescribing, and specifically the prescribing of generic and biosimilar medicines by the Health Service. Generic medicines make up over three in every four items dispensed in English community pharmacies[1]. NHS data show that the average branded medicine costs £20.63 whereas the average generic medicine costs £4.17 – and the latter includes a large chunk being paid by the Department of Health to fund pharmacies for dispensing the drug”.

“A key plank of any partnership agreement between the life sciences sector and the Government is to also seek a continuing close relationship with the EU after Brexit on the way medicines are regulated. This is important for patients across Europe. We were therefore very supportive of Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt’s and Business Secretary Greg Clark’s joint letter[2] that set out the UK’s Government firm desire for such an approach”.

“While we need to prioritise a close relationship on medicines regulation with the EU, it is also a good opportunity to look at complementary ways we can encourage more production, trials and development work taking place in the UK and benefitting NHS patients”.


For further information contact Robert Russell-Pavier on 020 7866 7875 or 07791 094 240 or email

For more information on the BGMA, visit:



[1] NHS Digital: Prescriptions Dispensed in the Community, Statistics for England - 2006-2016, published June 2017

[2] Financial Times: ‘The UK wants to continue to work with the EU on medicines”, published on 5 June 2017 by Rt. Hon Jeremy Hunt MP and Rt. Hon Greg Clark MP