LORDS

The future of UK Life Sciences - Lords Committee launches a new inquiry

20 July 2017

The House of Lords Science and Technology Committee launches an inquiry into Life Sciences and the Industrial Strategy.

The Government set out in its Industrial Strategy Green Paper its intention to create a new Life Sciences strategy to make the UK the best place in the world to invest in life sciences. To tackle challenges like cancer and dementia it is important that the UK has a strong life sciences sector. But the sector faces a number of challenges and opportunities, including Brexit and making innovative new treatments available on the NHS.

This inquiry will investigate issues such as whether the Government has the necessary structures in place to support the life sciences sector; how the NHS can use procurement to stimulate innovation in the life sciences; and the content of the new Life Sciences industrial strategy, when published.

The Committee invites submissions, with practical examples where possible, on topics including those mentioned below.

Questions

  • What can be learnt from the impact of the 2011 UK Life Sciences Strategy and how can the success of the new strategy be measured against its stated objectives?
  • Can public procurement, in particular by the NHS, be an effective stimulus for innovation in the Life Sciences Sector?
  • Who should take responsibility for the implementation of the Life Sciences Industrial Strategy and to whom should they be accountable?
  • How should the regulatory framework be changed or improved after Brexit to support the sector?
  • Should the Government appoint a dedicated Life Sciences Minister?

Chairman's comments

Chair of the Committee, Lord Patel, said:

“According to one analysis, the UK life sciences sector contributed £30.7bn to the economy in 2015 and supports over 480,000 jobs. While it is high-tech, research-intensive and innovative it can only remain this way if it has the correct leadership and is properly funded. Furthermore, compared to other countries the UK is behind when it comes to investment and innovation.

The inquiry is an opportunity to learn from the successes and failures of the Government’s 2011 Life Sciences Strategy, in order to properly inform its new strategy. This is expected to be published during the period in which this call for evidence is open and the Committee welcome the views of respondents on its contents, as well as the sector as a whole.”

Timeline

The Committee is inviting written evidence on the issue, to be received by Friday 15 September 2017, and will start taking oral evidence on the inquiry in October.

Further information

Image: PA

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