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UK Pharma Industry Calls for Next Govt. to Spend More on Public Healthcare

© REUTERS / Stefan WermuthNurses prepare a bed on a ward at St Thomas' Hospital in central London January 28, 2015
Nurses prepare a bed on a ward at St Thomas' Hospital in central London January 28, 2015 - Sputnik International
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According to reports, United Kingdom's Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) on Thursday called on the government to increase public spending on healthcare and improve patients' access to new medicines.

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MOSCOW (Sputnik) The United Kingdom's Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) on Thursday called on the government, which will be elected at the snap election of June 8, to increase public spending on healthcare and improve patients' access to new medicines.

"The ABPI calls on the next Government to implement a strategy to make patient outcomes in the NHS the best in the world. This should start by increasing health care investment to the G7 average and ensuring the UK is in the top quartile of OECD countries for patient access to new cost effective medicines and vaccines by 2022," the ABPI said in a pharmaceutical industry manifesto "Securing the Opportunity for UK Life Sciences by 2022."

According to the association, this strategy could be implemented through the increase of public spending on healthcare from the current 9.9 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to 11.3 percent. With the country's GDP staying at 2,861 trillion British pounds ($3,689 trillion) according to World Bank data, the requested spending would amount to over 32 billion pounds.

Apart from that, the ABPI urged the UK government to improve the public's access to high-quality medicines, comparing the current situation in the United Kingdom to the one in France and Germany where patients are around five times more likely to receive a new medicine, according to the association.

"This General Election comes at a critical juncture. Do we want to improve NHS patient outcomes and ensure Britain continues to be a global player in Life Sciences, or run the risk of the UK becoming a desert for healthcare innovation? Patients and voters will expect each party to set out a clear strategy to address this important issue," ABPI President Lisa Anson commented on the manifesto.

ABPI Chief Executive Mike Thomspon also urged the government to negotiate a new relationship with the European Union through a phased transition that would secure patient access to medicines and protect public health.

The UK snap election was announced by the country's Prime Minister Theresa May and backed by the House of Commons earlier in April. The pre-election period is used by public figures and organizations to urge the country's political forces to represent their vision of key UK issues, most of which are connected to its withdrawal from the European Union.

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