Last Thursday we invited delegates to Westminster for the fifteenth annual BIA Parliament Day – an action-packed schedule of morning meetings with key stakeholders, a riverside reception in the House of Commons, an afternoon on the Accelerated Access Review and all rounded off with our summer networking reception down the Thames. Check out highlights from the event and our pictures below.
The 35-strong Parliament Day delegation had a full day, kicking off with a breakfast briefing on the shape of the new political landscape and morning meetings with key stakeholders from NICE, NHS England, HM Treasury, Innovate UK and the MRC.
At lunchtime we had a riverside reception in the Thames Pavilion in the House of Commons, kindly hosted by new Cambridge MP Daniel Zeichner, where we also heard from Life Sciences Minister George Freeman and launched a new celebratory report – Celebrating UK bioscience: unravelling the stories behind UK bioscience success. The report highlights six case studies of UK bioscience excellence, in which UK science and its commercial exploitation have been fundamental to fantastic scientific innovation. We’ve often heard that the sector needs to shout louder about our successes, and this report is one step towards achieving that aim – we envisage more to come!
The parliamentary reception was also attended by Rt Hon John Spellar MP, Chris Green MP and Liz McInnes MP, and we had interest from a good number of others who were unable to attend on the day. It’s great to know that there are parliamentarians supportive of and keen to learn about the life sciences industry.
In the afternoon it was really valuable to have Chief Executive of NHS England Simon Stevens join us to talk about his forward view for the health service and answering questions from the delegation. Nicole Mather, Director of the Office for Life Sciences (OLS) and members of the Accelerated Access Review (AAR) team also joined us to convene a workshop explaining the aims and processes of the AAR and to gather some initial industry thoughts. In essence, the premise of the offer from government here seems to be we’ll help you get speedier approval and Health Technology Appraisal data on your products, for which we expect cheaper prices. Is this a win, win, win for the UK biotech sector? Formally and informally, BIA will continue to input evidence to the AAR over the next few weeks so we’d be interested if you think this is an attractive (and/or workable) proposition for our global sector. Watch this space for opportunities to have your say.
To catch up on social media, take a look at #BIA_PD2015.