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New £5bn pledge for Healthcare R&D in UK

Posted on November 5, 2021

It has been pledged by the UK Government that it will invest £5bn on healthcare R&D innovation by 2025. The UK’s Chancellor or Finance Minister Rishi Sunak has committed to investing in the sector to discover the “medicines and vaccines of the future”. 

Despite the £22 billion goal being delayed until 2026/2027, two years later than originally promised, the proposal still offers optimistic advancements for the sector as a whole. The BIA acknowledged Sunak’s pledges to review how research and development is supported in the R&D tax credits scheme, promoting UK companies to further invest in therapies for rare diseases and other beneficial healthcare practices. The provision of capital grants for advanced pharmaceutical manufacturing will also add to the attractiveness of the UK’s innovative incentives, therefore making the UK more attractive in terms of private sector investment. 

What is Healthcare R&D?

R&D for health technologies is an essential part of the global health challenges, some examples of this would be developing new devices and tools, diagnostics, drugs, microbicides, vaccines, and nutrition technologies for all. 

Patients are at the heart of all healthcare research and development, with a profound commitment to improve the lives of people all over the world and make a meaningful difference in people’s lives. Extending experience and expertise in the UK will open the doors for more investment from overseas firms, adding to global health and ensuring safe, affordable, accessible, and appropriate practices are available to all. 

The promise to the NHS

The Autumn Budget also pledged to increase the NHS resource budget to over £160 billion by 2024/2025, a notable 3.8% growth. The budget’s proposals also included a £9.6 billion pot for Covid-19 funding over the spending review period to help the NHS respond to the pandemic. 

Building a bigger, better, and highly trained workforce within the health service by funding the training of the biggest undergraduate medical students and nurses, continuing to support new midwives and allied health professionals who are integral for delivering a full range of NHS services, and also strengthening the Government’s devotion for 50,000 more nurses and more primary care appointments. 

Life-Changing Healthcare R&D Technologies

The acceleration of life sciences research and development that aims to tackle cancer, obesity, and mental health but also to give the NHS more access to life-changing technologies is at the forefront of the Autumn Budget for 2021. An increase in the budget of Innovate UK to more than £1bn by 2024 is also notable, which will allow UKRI (UK Research and Innovation) to renew the Biomedical Catalyst Programme which provides funding to assist businesses with testing and developing innovative healthcare projects.

Genomics England, a company set up and owned by the UK Department of Health and Social Care will receive funding for their project ‘Generation Genome’, which is a national pilot of 100,000 newborns to use genome sequencing, making it possible to detect over 200 rare conditions, the existing tests can only identify 9. Their existing project ‘Diverse Data’ aims to increase the representation of minority groups in genomics research, which is aiming to recruit at least 15% of people from ethnic minority backgrounds to participate in the research programmes.

By opening the doors to cloud computing and data advances being added to the qualifying expenditure list for the scheme as listed in the 2021 Autumn Budget, it is extending possibilities for more ground-breaking and life-changing discoveries. 

The announcement was welcomed by many groups within the healthcare industry, such as the ABPI (The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry), with emphasis placed on how research and development within the life sciences sector helped to pioneer the UK through the Covid-19 Pandemic, developing vaccines, diagnostics and medicines under extreme pressure, that enabled life to begin going back to normal.

To find out more about how the R&D Tax Credits incentive can reward you and your business for your innovations, click here.