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UK Life Sciences Industry Commits to Fighting Coronavirus and Supporting Patients

on Thursday, 21 May 2020.

A bold statement of intent has been issued by trade bodies representing organisations across the entire UK life sciences industry. The statement expresses the industry's strong commitment to fighting coronavirus (COVID-19) and supporting NHS patients.

It states that the industry intends to play "as big a role as possible" in tackling the pandemic through its involvement in the search for effective diagnostics and treatments and by supporting the NHS, patients and the Government.

In a strong show of solidarity, the statement has been signed by the chief executives of five of the industry's most prominent trade bodies, namely:

  • the Association of British HealthTech Industries (ABHI)
  • the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI)
  • the British Generic Manufacturers Association (BGMA)
  • the UK BioIndustry Association (BIA)
  • the British In Vitro Diagnostics Association (BIVDA)

According to the statement, the UK life sciences Industry will focus its efforts on the following three areas during the pandemic:

Delivering Medicines and Health Technology to Fight COVID-19

This will be achieved through:

  • prioritising research into coronavirus-related health technologies, vaccines and treatments
  • facilitating input and intelligence sharing from companies to support testing and therapeutics
  • identifying and supporting companies to facilitate testing for COVID-19.

Prioritising the Supply of Diagnostics, Medicines and Health Technologies for NHS Patients

This means prioritising:

  • the provision of medicines and health technologies to NHS patients
  • work on mitigating any impact that global supply chain, manufacturing and transport disruption could have on the availability of medicines and health technologies, including for clinical study and research activities

Supporting NHS Service Delivery

This will take place through identifying and supporting opportunities for those working in the UK life sciences industry to volunteer and help where most needed along with supporting the NHS to improve testing capacity.

Coronavirus Legal Advice


This statement serves to emphasise the strong spirit of collaboration that has been demonstrated by the UK life sciences industry ever since the pandemic started, and which has contributed to the progress that the industry has already achieved in all three areas addressed by the statement.

In the race to develop vaccines and treatments, UK pharmaceutical companies are playing a prominent role. To take just one example, a collaboration was announced at the end of April between AstraZeneca and Oxford University for the purposes of developing a potential new vaccine.

Industry organisations have also adopted a remarkable range of initiatives to support the NHS. These include assisting the NHS with the operation and optimisation of testing facilities, donating resources for the benefit of NHS workers such as hand cream and suspending clinical trials where necessary to enable appropriately qualified clinical investigators to join the NHS frontline.

There may still be a long way to go in the fight against coronavirus, but more than a little comfort can be taken from the UK life sciences industry's commitment to combatting the disease and helping patients.

If you would like to get in touch with us regarding the above article, please contact Julian Conway in our specialist Pharmaceuticals & Life Sciences team on 07384 810 814, or complete the form below.

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